Today the United Parcel Services (UPS) announced on their website:
LGBT rights org GLAAD has confirmed "organizations that conflict with UPS non-discrimination policy will not be considered eligible for funding" which means going forward Boy Scouts will be ineligible for grants from UPS through their "Focus on Giving" program. Intel Corporation made a similar decision earlier this year to not support groups whose non-discrimination policy is not inline with their own corporate policy. Intel's matching grants were at the time the single biggest source of revenue among programs of its kind for the Boy Scouts.The UPS Foundation seeks to support organizations that are in alignment with our focus areas, guidelines, and non-discrimination policy. UPS and The UPS Foundation do not discriminate against any person or organization with regard to categories protected by applicable law, as well as other categories protected by UPS and The UPS Foundation in our own policies. These include, but are not limited to race, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran or military status, pregnancy, age and religion.
Jennifer Tyrrell, an Ohio mom who was fired as the popular Scout leader when national hierarchy became aware she was a lesbian, responded to today's news:
"We are finally heading in the right direction in this country and that is the direction of equality for all. It is time that the BSA respects the needs of the American people and stops rejected devoted parents and scouts because they happen to be LGBT. Until the BSA joins the national trend of equality, sponsors of the organization should continue to withhold support or support the growing number of troops that have rejected the ban."Decisions like denying Eagle Scout based on sexual orientation have earned the Boy Scouts significant grassroots pushback. From GLAAD:
GLAAD and Scouts for Equality have also called attention to the Americans who are continuing to be harmed by the anti-gay policy, including Kentucky dad Greg Bourke who was ousted from his son’s troop this summer and launched a Change.org campaign to be reinstated as well as 18 year-old Ryan Andresen whose mother started a Change.org petition which is at over 420,000 signatures after he was denied an the rank of Eagle Scout because he is gay.
“UPS showed true bravery today in standing with the 80,000 Americans, including thousands of Scouts and Scout leaders, who oppose the Boy Scouts’ hurtful anti-gay policy. That bravery is what Scouting is all about. Corporate America gets it better than most: policies that discriminate aren’t simply wrong, they're bad for business and they're hurting the Scouting community. You would think that after all the Boy Scouts have lost as a result of this policy, they would understand that.”Earilier this year, the CEOs of two major companies—AT&T and Ernst & Young—who have seats on the national board have called for an end to the policy. Also, the executive director of the James Beard Foundation returned an honorary reward when she was made aware of the organization's discriminatory policies.
The Boy Scouts of America also reiterated their support for continuing their ban on gay members and leaders earlier this year.
Update, Take Action:
Daily Kos has launched a petition thanking UPS for standing up for equality. Please take a moment to thank them for this important action by signing here.