ATLANTA -- The charity arm of United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS), announced Monday a new policy that will “cease all future funding to the Boy Scouts until gay Scouts and leaders are welcome within the organization.”
The UPS Foundation has previously contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Boy Scouts, despite the organization’s anti-gay policy.
In a statement on the Foundation's website, the company wrote:
"The UPS Foundation seeks to support organizations that are in alignment with our focus areas, guidelines, and non-discrimination policy. UPS and The UPS Foundation do not discriminate against any person or organization with regard to categories protected by applicable law, as well as other categories protected by UPS and The UPS Foundation in our own policies.
These include, but are not limited to race, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran or military status, pregnancy, age and religion."
Under the policy, the Boy Scouts of America is no longer eligible for grants from the UPS Foundation because of the BSA's ban on gay scouts and gay and lesbian scout leaders.
The UPS Foundation claimed the policy has been in development for several months, and that organizations that are unable to attest to having a policy or practices that align with the Foundation’s non-discrimination policy will no longer be considered eligible for funding.
Prior to the UPS Foundation’s non-discrimination language, the charity gave $167,000 to various Boy Scouts of America entities in 2010.
UPS has consistently received high marks on the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) Corporate Equality Index, an annual survey that rates U.S. corporations on their non-discrimination policies and practices toward LGBT employees and consumers.
Zach Wahls, founder and spokesperson for Scouts for Equality, who last month launched a Change.org petition calling on UPS to end its donations to the Boy Scouts, called the decision "true bravery."
“UPS showed true bravery today in standing with the 80,000 Americans, including thousands of Scouts and Scout leaders, who oppose the Boy Scouts’ hurtful anti-gay policy. That bravery is what Scouting is all about," said Wahls.
"Corporate America gets it better than most: policies that discriminate aren’t simply wrong, they're bad for business and they're hurting the Scouting community. You would think that after all the Boy Scouts have lost as a result of this policy, they would understand that," he said.
In September, Wahls launched a similar petition calling on Intel to cease its financial support of the Boy Scouts -- Wahls noted that in 2010, Intel gave nearly $700,000 to BSA despite its anti-gay policy. Within days, Intel announced it would no longer support the Boy Scouts.
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