Corporations Giving Big Money to Boy Scouts Despite Antigay Policy

The list of corporate donors to the Boy Scouts of America includes several that support anti-discrimination policies being inclusive of LGBT people.

BY Andy Birkey of The American Independent

September 18 2012 2:27 PM ET


Intel and the LDS Church
Intel — the Boy Scouts’ largest donor among the corporations surveyed — has an explicit policy of not giving to groups that discriminate.

That policy, which applies to competitive grants, states that the Intel Foundation will not fund “organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, veteran or disability status.”

The Intel Foundation also has a volunteer matching program that donates funds to a charity based an employee’s volunteer hours. That program has a similar policy. It says that the foundation disqualifies “organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran, or disability statuses” from the grant program.

Yet, according to tax documents, the Intel Foundation gave about $700,000 to Boy Scout chapters in 2010. Those donations came exclusively through the employee volunteer matching program.

Of that, more than $320,000 went to Boy Scout troops and councils connected to the Mormon Church. TAI contacted two of the regional councils overseeing those Boy Scout troops, but those inquiries were not returned.

The LDS Church became formally affiliated with the Boy Scouts in 1913. According to figures on the Boy Scouts of America website, as of 2011, there were nearly 38,000 scouting units sponsored by the Latter Day Saints. That’s nearly 34 percent of all units nationwide.

And the LDS Church, which opposes “homosexual behavior,” holds sway with the Boy Scouts of America.
In a brief filed in the landmark case of Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, a lawyer for the LDS Church warned that the church would leave the scouts if gays were allowed to be scout leaders.

"If the appointment of scout leaders cannot be limited to those who live and affirm the sexual standards of BSA and its religious sponsors, the Scouting Movement as now constituted will cease to exist, “ wrote Von G. Keetch on behalf of the LDS Church and several other religious organizations in 2000 (PDF). “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — the largest single sponsor of Scouting units in the United States — would withdraw from Scouting if it were compelled to accept openly homosexual Scout leaders.”

When asked about the Intel’s funding policies, Intel Foundation executive director Wendy Ramage-Hawkins told TAI via email: “All organizations seeking financial support from the Intel Foundation are required to affirm their compliance with Intel's non-discrimination corporate donation policy. Organizations that cannot affirm their compliance will not receive funding from the Intel Foundation.”

Intel wouldn’t say whether or not it would continue to fund the Boy Scouts.

“We will know if and when they affirm our non-discrimination policy and request our support,” Ramage-Hawkins said.

She later clarified that the Intel Foundation will be asking for a statement of agreement with their nondiscrimination policy in the next grant cycle but had not done so in the past.

“We have not previously asked for affirmation, so this will be the first time the question is raised,” she said.

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