Walt Disney World suspended its financial support of the local chapters of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). According to Scouts for Equality, the explanation behind the suspended support is the BSA’s continued ban on openly gay and lesbian adults serving in the capacity of a troop leader or other leadership roles.
The Scouts for Equality is a national campaign to end discrimination within the Boy Scouts of America. Until the suspension, the local Boy Scout troops had been on the receiving end of a grant program run by The Disney Company that donated proceeds to charitable organizations.
BSA Central Florida Council Board President Robert Utsey sent out a letter to local members. In the letter Utsey wrote, “We recognize that many Scout Units have received financial support over the last several years from this grant opportunity and are sad to see it go.”
“The National BSA Council has reached out to Walt Disney World to try to resolve the situation, however, according to WDW, their views do not currently align with the BSA and they are choosing to discontinue this level of support.”
Several major corporate sponsors have ended their partnerships with the Boy Scouts of America since 2012. Those sponsors are Lockheed Martin, Caterpillar, Major League Soccer, Merck, Intel, UPS and Walt Disney World.
Co-founder of Scouts for Equality Zach Wahls said, “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.
In May 2013, the Boy Scouts of America National Council voted to end its long-time ban on openly gay scouts. However, it reaffirmed its ban on openly LGBT adults from serving as volunteers or professionals in the organization. The policy would also require openly gay scouts to leave the organization on their 18th birthday.
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