By Neal Broverman
Originally published on Advocate.com November 12 2012 4:50 PM ET
The United Parcel Service announced a new policy of inclusion that will prohibit the company from donating funds to the Boy Scouts, which bans gay leaders and Scouts.
The company was reviewing its corporate giving policy for months and announced the following last week: "The UPS Foundation seeks to support organizations that are in alignment with our focus areas, guidelines, and nondiscrimination 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."
UPS officials confirmed with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation that their new policy would conflict with future donations to the antigay Boy Scouts; in 2010 alone, the UPS gifted the Boy Scouts with $167,000. The Scouts announced in July that, after a two year review, they would continue with their ban on gay leaders and Scouts.
The group Scouting for Equality launched a Change.org petition urging UPS to cut financial ties with the Boy Scouts and by all measures, succeeded.
"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,” Eagle Scout and Scouting for Equality founder Zach Wahls said in a statement. “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.”
The Intel Foundation, Intel's grantmaking arm, rescinded funding to the Boy Scouts in September.
“More and more corporate leaders are enacting strong non-discrimination policies for practices including grant funding and hiring. Equality is not only good for business, but supported by a vast majority of Americans,” GLAAD President Herndon Graddick said in a statement.