Angry at Anti-Gay Policy of Boy Scouts
New Jersey-based Pharmaceutical Giant Merck, following the precedent set by Intel and UPS, this week reported that it would suspend all funding to the Boy Scouts until the Boy Scouts inclusion criteria has been expanded.
Merck had given the Boy Scouts of America $30,000 in 2011, according to records. In a statement released last week, Vice President and spokesperson for Merck, Brian Grill outlined the decision to not donate :
“The Merck Foundation believes that it is critical to honor and support a foundational policy of diversity and inclusion in all funding decisions. Recently, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), with its 2.7 million youth membership, restated its policy that excludes members on the basis of sexual orientation. The BSA’s policy of exclusion directly conflicts with the Merck Foundation’s giving guidelines.”
Zach Wahls’s Campaign
Activist Wahls’s has a campaign to have telecommunications giant Verizon withdraw its support for the Boy Scouts. Wahls said about Merck: “I am thrilled that Merck and Company, has announced its foundation arm is immediately withdrawing funding from the Boy Scouts of America until the program ends its anti-gay membership.”
Prior History of Ousting Troop Leaders and Members
In July 2011, the Boy Scouts of American reaffirmed its long-standing policy that prohibits openly gay members from joining the organization and bans gays and lesbians from serving as scout leaders.
The Boy Scouts of America was criticized for kicking out a popular Ohio lesbian Den leader Jennifer Tyrell from her son Colin’s Tiger Scout’s troop. She has since gained many signatures for her petition to be reinstated. Similarly, California gay Scout Ryan Andresen was denied his Eagle Scout award although he completed all the badges to earn the prestigious award. (He did, however, receive a $20,000 check from Ellen De Generes.)
Claims of Pedophilia within Scouting
Despite BSOA’s rigid ruling against homosexuals serving within their organization, pedophiles have been able to infiltrate Boy Scout Troops. Former scouts and their parents have filed suits against this volunteer organization that kept secret or perversion files about leaders under suspicion, from 1960’s to 1980’s. BSOA did not always expel these questionables, leaving vulnerable Boy Scouts prey to those in power.