Society

Disney Withdraws Funding From Boy Scouts For Excluding Gay Leaders

| by Allison Geller

Starting in 2015 the Walt Disney Company will no longer fund the Boy Scouts of America due to the scouting organization’s ban on gay leaders.

Boy Scouts spokesman Deron Smith said in a statement that the organization was “disappointed” that Disney is withdrawing their support, according to the Associated Press.

"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 said.

Disney does not give money directly to the Boy Scouts, but exchanges volunteer hours by Disney employees with donations to certain troops.

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Disney would not offer an official comment to the press, but a spokeswoman did tell the Orlando Sentinel that part of Disney’s corporate policy is to not give grants to groups that "operate or support activities that are counter to the policies of The Walt Disney Company," a gay-friendly employer.

Scouts For Equality, a group that advocates reforming the Boy Scouts’ anti-gay policies, posted a memo on its website stating that Disney would no longer be donating to the organization’s Central Florida Council.

“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,” said Eagle Scout and Scouts for Equality co-founder Zach Wahls.

“Scouts for Equality will continue to advocate for a fully inclusive membership policy, to help build a stronger Scouting community that is eligible for the support of Corporate America.”

All gay people were banned from the Boy Scouts until the beginning of this year, when the restriction on minors was lifted. The exclusion of gay adults is still in place.

Sources: Associated Press, Orlando Sentinel, Scouts for Equality