IOWA CITY, Iowa — After successively lobbying Intel Corporation to end its corporate contributions to the Boy Scouts of America last month, LGBT rights advocate Zach Wahls has set his sights on United Parcel Service.
Wahls, an Eagle Scout raised by two lesbian moms, noted that in 2010, UPS gave nearly $167,000 to the Boy Scouts of America, despite the organization’s policy banning gay Scouts and leaders from participating.
On its corporate website, UPS also touts its 100 percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.
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“In today’s world, we understand that diversity encompasses more than race and gender. It extends to the full myriad of issues ranging from ethnicity to sexual orientation to physical ability. Inclusiveness, respect and cooperation are core values that help drive the way we do business with our customers and suppliers – and strengthen our bonds with a multi-cultural community of friends and neighbors.”
But Wahls said that the Boy Scouts’ policy “is inconsistent with how UPS views workplace equality and it is inconsistent with the Scout Law, which demands bravery, loyalty and kindness,” and has launched a new petition calling on UPS to end its donations to the Boy Scouts.
“The BSA has historically been a vital American institution critical in the development of our nation’s future leaders. But on July 17, 2012, the BSA reaffirmed their discriminatory policy, stating in part: “…we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals…”
“And because of this policy, inspirational Scouts and Scout leaders — Like Ohio Den Mother Jennifer Tyrrell and Kentucky Scoutmaster Greg Bourke — continue to be fired from the Boy Scouts, just because they are gay.
“UPS Foundation President Eduardo Martinez should know all too well how senseless and out-of-touch the Boy Scouts’ anti-gay policy is. Mr. Martinez serves as Chair of the Corporate Development Council for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and is a board member for The Metro Atlanta YMCA. Both of these organizations welcome and benefit from embracing gay youth and leaders in their programming.”
Last month, Wahls launched a similar petition 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.
Days later, in a statement released to Think Progress, 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.
Wahls recently co-founded a pro-gay group called Scouts for Equality, aimed at influencing the Boy Scouts to rescind its anti-gay policies.