Disney World Cuts Funds to BSA Over Anti-Gay Policy
Officials from Walt Disney World said Thursday that they will cease donations to the Boy Scouts of America due to the organization’s highly controversial policy on openly gay scout leaders, Think Progress reports.
In spite of the fact that the BSA’s National Council voted last May to end the group’s longtime ban on openly gay youth, the Florida theme park announced that they will end financial support to local Scout groups. As the policy states now, out scouts who turn 18 will be kicked out of the organization.
"Walt Disney World’s ’Ears to You’ grant program functions like an employee matching-gift program, but instead makes donations to a charitable organization for which employees volunteer their time. In the past, this has included Boy Scout troops," Think Progress writes.
The Central Florida Council’s board president Robert Utsey apparently sent a letter to scouts’ families to point out the change, Think Progress reports.
"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 WDW 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. We will continue to keep an open line of communication with them, but at this time, are unable to reverse their decision."
Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout known for giving a passionate speech about gay marriage in Iowa back in 2011, lauded Disney’s move in a statement to the Huffington Post.
"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," Wahls wrote. You can read the full statement at Scouts for Equality’s website.
Disney is the latest in a long list of companies that has pulled support to the BSA. Lockheed Martin, Merck and UPS are just a few of the businesses that have protested the organization’s anti-gay ban.