GLAAD is joining Scouts for Equality, its founder and Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, as well as thousands of Americans in a Change.org campaign urging Intel Corporation, one of the Boy Scouts of America’s largest corporate donors, to stop funding the BSA until the organization removes its ban on gay scouts and leaders.
Wahls launched the petition on Change.org after an American Independent report revealed that Intel gave nearly $700,000 to the Boy Scouts in 2010, despite the organization’s anti-gay policy. According to the American Independent, the Intel Foundation has a policy that it will not fund “organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, veteran or disability status.”
“As an Eagle Scout representing an organization of 1,500 Eagles strong, I applaud Intel's support for the Boy Scouts of America as a vital American institution critical in the development of our nation's future leaders,” said Scouts for Equality founder Zach Wahls, who launched the campaign on Change.org. “But in July of this year, the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed their discriminatory policy barring gay Scouts and leaders, thus forfeiting their eligibility for funds from fair-minded, socially-responsible corporations.”
“Until the Boy Scouts of America removes this hurtful policy that is inconsistent with its own principles, they do not deserve the financial backing of companies that strive for workplace equality -- especially innovators like Intel,” added Wahls.
"The Boy Scouts of America have helped so many youth over the years, yet continues to tell gay scouts that they are not welcome because of who they are and hurt children of gay parents by unfairly banning their moms and dads from the organization," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "It's only a matter of time before the BSA follows other national youth organizations like the Girl Scouts of the USA, 4-H Club and Boys & Girls Club by ending discrimination against gay people. Until then, the BSA's financial sponsors should tell the BSA that they do not support their hurtful and unfair policy."
As the Change.org campaign gains traction, GLAAD also called attention to the Americans who are continuing to be harmed by the anti-gay policy, including Kentucky dad Greg Bourke who was ousted from his son’s troop this summer and launched a Change.org campaign to be reinstated this week.
In April 2012, Jennifer Tyrrell, a mom and den leader from Ohio was removed from her 7-year-old’s Cub Scout Pack for being gay. Tyrrell’s Change.org petition attracted more than 330,000 signatures in support of ending the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay Scouts and leaders.
Last month, President Obama, who serves as honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America, publicly opposed the Boy Scouts of America’s anti-gay policy, and joined presidential candidate Mitt Romney in supporting gay Americans participating in the Boy Scouts.
GLAAD is reaching out to Intel to discuss the BSA's anti-gay history.