Scouts for Equality founder, Zach Wahls, has launched a Change.org petition calling on Verizon to stop donating to the Boy Scouts until the group ends its policy banning gay scouts and leaders. The Intel Foundation and UPS Foundation have already dropped their financial support of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) because of the discriminatory policy.
On its website, the Verizon Foundation states that only those organizations which "serve the community without discrimination," including on the basis of sexual orientation, are eligible to receive funding. Yet, Verizon gave more than $315,000 in grants to the Boy Scouts in 2010, despite the BSA's anti-gay policies.
“Sensible corporations like Intel and UPS have already paused their funding until the BSA ends its exclusionary policy, and now it’s time for Verizon to do the same,” said Wahls. “As far back as 2001, the American Medical Association has been urging the Boy Scouts to end its anti-gay policy because of the psychological trauma it could cause young people. Does Verizon really want to be responsible for funding this hurtful and potentially dangerous policy?”
"Corporate leaders like Verizon know that discriminating against LGBT people is wrong for their customers, employees and business," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "Our conversations with other leaders in corporate America have sent a message that the Boy Scouts' discriminatory policy hurts young gay people and needs to change. Verizon's silence is heard throughout the community and the time is now for them to join their peers in standing up for gay youth in scouting."
In April, GLAAD first shared the story of Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell, who was ousted as leader of her son's Boy Scouts troop because she's gay. Since then, hundreds of thousands of Americans have joined GLAAD to urge the Boy Scouts of America to end its long history of discrimination against LGBT youth and parents. Join us and take action!