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Intel announces it will no longer support anti-gay Boy Scouts of America

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Boy Scouts of America has lost its largest corporate donor, Intel, which announced Friday that it will no longer support the group until it vows to stop discriminating against gay people.

In a statement released to Think Progress on Friday, Intel’s Chief Diversity Officer, Rosalind Hudnell, confirmed that the company would no longer fund the Boy Scouts of America, so long as the Scouts stand by their long-held policy barring gay troops and leaders from participating in the organization.

“Due to significant growth in the number of organizations funded, earlier this year we revisited our policies associated with the program, and applied new rigor that requires any organization to confirm that it adheres to Intel’s anti-discrimination policy in order to receive funding,” said Hudnell.

The announcement comes just days after a petition calling on Intel to end its support of the Boy Scouts gathered more than 30,000 signatures in little more than 24 hours.

Leading that push was activist Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout raised by two lesbian moms.

“Intel made the right decision here, in order to live up to their corporate values of diversity, equality and individual liberty, said Wahls, in a statement.

“Companies that support the LGBT community simply can’t be in the business of funding organizations that discriminate. Frankly, by sending this message, Intel is upholding the true spirit of Scouting better than the BSA is today,” he said.

Wahls launched the petition earlier this week on Change.org calling on Intel to cease its financial support of the Boy Scouts until the group ends its ban on openly gay scouts and gay and lesbian scout leaders.

Wahls noted that in 2010, Intel gave nearly $700,000 to BSA despite its anti-gay policy.

Zach Wahls

The donations were in “direct conflict with Intel Foundation’s own funding criteria, which stipulates that Intel will not fund ‘Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, veteran or disability status,’” Wahls said.

Wahls, an engineering student at the University of Iowa, has taken a sabbatical from his studies to actively campaign for LGBT rights. He recently co-founded a pro-gay group called Scouts for Equality, which currently numbers around 1,500 members.

An Eagle Scout himself, Wahls became involved with the Boy Scouts issue delivering more than 275,000 signatures to the Boy Scouts of America at its National Annual Meeting in Florida in May, calling on the group to end its long history of anti-gay discrimination and reinstate Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell, who was forcibly removed as den leader of her son’s Boy Scout troop because she’s gay.

Wahls previously called on the Boy Scouts to reveal the identities of the 11-member committee that supposedly investigated whether to allow gay scouts and opted against it, and he’s pledged to approach local chapters to press for anti-discrimination policies.

Wahls first burst onto the national scene when he testified in November 2011 before the Iowa House of Representatives about the strength of his family and being raised by lesbian parents.

Video of his testimony went viral, and was the most-watched political clip of 2011, according to YouTube.

Wahls’ mothers were married in 2009 after a decision by the Iowa Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage; he is the author of the book, “My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family.”

Earlier this month he was an invited speaker appearing before the delegates at the Democratic National Convention held in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Intel, based in Santa Clara, Calif., is the world’s largest and highest valued semiconductor chip maker, based on revenue.

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18 more reader comments:

  1. GREAT NEWS!! : )

    Posted on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 7:31pm
  2. Awesome! Lets see how loss of donations affect their bottom line now!

    Posted on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 7:32pm
  3. TY Intel!

    Posted on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 7:33pm
  4. cash usaly talks..thats awesome intel

    Posted on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 7:34pm
  5. I love Intel for doing this.

    Posted on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 7:40pm
  6. About time a large entity stands up for us.

    Posted on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 7:40pm
  7. If I could like this 1000 times I would. Wonderful news. Time to stop shaming & discluding LGBTQ children. Go intel!!

    Posted on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 7:41pm
  8. bravo! INTEL, for supporting equality & ending support for bigotry

    Posted on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 7:54pm
  9. Yea for Intel!! Queue the intel inside sound effect please :)

    Posted on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 8:07pm
  10. This is how civil rights are won.

    Posted on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 8:17pm
  11. Awesome!

    Posted on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 8:35pm
  12. I KNEW there was a reason I never made it past knot-tying or Webelows! HAHAHA!

    Posted on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 9:03pm
  13. Love it !!

    Posted on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 10:57pm
  14. Hopefully the Scouts will come around & see the EVILE of their ways some day soon… Not holding my breath!!!

    Posted on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 11:36pm
  15. bout time!!!

    Posted on Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 12:56am
  16. good@

    Posted on Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 5:55am
  17. Maybe this will help them make the right decision.

    Posted on Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 7:09am
  18. I think the stance that boy scouts take may be wrong but it is a great organization. Kneejerk reaction

    Posted on Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 11:01am