Should UPS Pull Boy Scouts Funding?

An Eagle Scout protests the group's anti-gay policy by reaching corporate donors

First it was Intel. Now UPS is under fire for funding the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, founder of Scouts for Equality, has launched the latest campaign in hopes of reaching UPS just days after Intel Corporation, one of the Boy Scouts’ largest corporate donors, affirmed it would no longer support the BSA until its anti-gay policy is amended. Wahls says UPS gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Boy Scouts in 2010, despite having a perfect scores on the HRC’s Corporate Equality Index.

At press time, a UPS spokesperson said the Boy Scouts’ current policy wouldn’t deter UPS Foundation from funding the organization in the future. The company issued this statement: “This decision has not and will not impact The UPS Foundation’s decision to provide funding to BSA, although we evaluate each funding request on an individual basis.”

“While the rest of the nation is moving forward, often with corporate America leading the way, the Boy Scouts of America has decided to turn back by reaffirming this hurtful policy,” argues Wahls. “If UPS wants to uphold its reputation as a champion of equality and a proud leader in corporate diversity, then it must cut ties with the Boy Scouts until their anti-gay policy is removed.”

Wahls has already attracted support from UPS employees and families around the country, like Kristi Balden in Enid, Oklahoma, whose husband has worked for UPS for almost a quarter of a century. Her family has a big stake in this decision. “My husband is a driver for UPS and our son is gay,” says Balden. “Our household does not support this!”

GLAAD President Herndon Graddick also issued a statment: “UPS has an opportunity to side with fairness and join other BSA Board Members, funders as well as hundreds of thousands of Americans in speaking out against this discriminatory policy. After losing so much support over the past several months, the BSA should follow other national youth organizations like the Girl Scouts of the USA, 4-H Club and Boys & Girls Club by ending discrimination against gay people.”

What do you think? Should corporations like Intel and UPS fund the Boy Scouts?