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Disney Stops Funding Boy Scouts over Scouts’ Anti-gay Policy

The Walt Disney Company has announced that it will stop funding Boy Scouts of America from 2015, because of its policy banning gay leaders. With its decision, Disney joins other big businesses like Caterpillar, Lockheed Martin, Major League Soccer, Merck, Intel, AT & T, Alcoa and UPS, who have also stopped funding the Boy Scouts of America over the same issue.

Disney’s guidelines for charity spell out that organizations become ineligible for funding if they “discriminate in the provision of services unlawfully or in a manner inconsistent with Disney’s policies on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, marital status, mental or physical ability, or sexual orientation.”

This means that Disney employees will not be able to submit funds to the Boy Scouts through the company’s VoluntEARS program. However, the company said, that its decision would not affect Walt Disney employees who choose to directly volunteer with the Boy Scouts.

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BSA spokesman Deron Smith said, “We believe every child deserves the opportunity to be a part of the Scouting experience, and we are disappointed in this decision because it will impact our ability to serve kids.” He asserted, “America’s youth need Scouting, and by continuing to focus on the goals that unite us, we continue to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve.”

The Boy Scouts of America voted last year to allow gay youths in its ranks but continues to impose a ban on adult gays from becoming Boy Scout leaders.

Disney’s decision came to light after Scouts for Equality, an organization which claims to work for ending discrimination within the BSA, praised Walt Disney for stopping support to BSA’s Central Florida Council. Zach Wahls, Eagle Scout and Scouts for Equality co-founder said in a statement, “We’re never happy to see Scouting suffer as a result of the BSA’s anti-gay policy, but Disney made the right decision to withhold support until Scouting is fully inclusive.”

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