Monday, November 12, 2012

UPS Announces New Non-Discrimination Policy; Boy Scouts Of America No Longer Eligible For Funding

According to a corporate statement, United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS), a corporate donor of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), has announced a new policy that will “cease all future funding to the Boy Scouts until gay Scouts and leaders are welcome within the organization.” UPS, much like Intel Corporation (which was one of the Boy Scouts largest corporate donors), gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Boy Scouts despite the organization’s anti-gay policy. Both UPS and Intel have traditionally scored high marks on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. ”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 Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, founder of Scouts for Equality. “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 continued. According to GLAAD, due to the UPS Foundation’s new non-discrimination policy organizations (like the boy Scouts) that adhere to an anti-gay policy will no longer be eligible for funding. UPS released the following statement: “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.” The decision by UPS reverses an earlier statement in which they said they would continue to support and donate to the Boy Scouts. ”The time is now for the BSA to end this outdated and unpopular ban before other corporate funders pull dollars and scouting families drop their support’” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “All of the great work that the BSA does to help young people will continue to be overshadowed by their blatant discrimination until they join other inclusive organizations like the Girl Scouts of the USA and the 4-H Club.” GLAAD first started calls for the Boy Scouts of America to end their ban on gay scouts and scout leaders in April 2012 after 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 has attracted more than 330,000 signatures in support of ending the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay Scouts and leaders. Jennifer responded to today's news: "We are finally heading in the right direction in this country and that is the direction of equality for all. It is time that the BSA respects the needs of the American people and stops rejected devoted parents and scouts because they happen to be LGBT. Until the BSA joins the national trend of equality, sponsors of the organization should continue to withhold support or support the growing number of troops that have rejected the ban."

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