Boy Scouts Pressured by Corporate Sponsors to Change Policy on Gays
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2013 Jan 31
Pressure from corporate sponsors may be the critical factor in a decision by the Boy Scouts of America to change its policy to allow homosexual scouts, volunteers and leaders, the Christian Post reports. When a BSA representative met with Frank Page, president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, to discuss the proposed policy change, Page was told that BSA is "wilting under pressure from some of their corporate sponsors." The Human Rights Campaign, a pro-gay rights advocacy organization, told BSA's corporate sponsors it would downgrade their "non-discrimination ratings" if they continued to give money to BSA, according to NBC News. According to a review of corporate giving to BSA in 2010 conducted by The American Independent last September, 23 of the top 50 corporate foundations -- including Bank of America, Intel, UPS, U.S. Bank, Verizon and Wells Fargo -- gave at least $10,000 to BSA. The largest donation in 2010 -- $700,000 -- came from Intel, which announced last September it would stop donations to the Scouts unless it stopped excluding gay scouts, volunteers and leaders. A month later, pharmaceutical giant Merck followed suit, and UPS announced last month it would no longer give to BSA because of its gay ban. BSA's national board includes two corporate CEOs -- Randall Stephenson of AT&T and James Turley of Ernst & Young -- who have said they will try to end the ban on homosexuals.