VICTORY! After more than 80,000 people joined Scouts for Equality founder Zach Wahls' campaign urging UPS to stop funding the Boy Scouts, UPS announced that they will join Intel in no longer funding organizations that discriminate.
UPS confirmed to GLAAD that under new UPS Foundation guidelines, organizations banning gay people are no longer eligible to have grant applications reviewed. Today, the UPS Foundation posted the following on its site:
“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.”
Wahls congratulated UPS, and said that their decision to stop funding the Boy Scouts reflects the very values that Scouting stands for.
“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,” said Wahls. “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.”
On their website, UPS touts their 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index. Now, Scouts and Scout leaders across the country urge UPS to act on that rating and help end the BSA's anti-gay policy.
In 2010, UPS gave more than $150,000 to the Boy Scouts of America, despite the organization's policy banning gay Scouts and leaders from participating.
As an Eagle Scout, I applaud UPS' long history of support for the Boy Scouts of America. 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.
When asked by a reporter at The American Independent if UPS will continue to donate now that Boy Scouts of America have reaffirmed their policy, UPS spokesperson Kristen Petrella said "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."
That position is inconsistent with how UPS views workplace equality and it is inconsistent with the Scout Law, which demands bravery, loyalty and kindness.
Until the Boy Scouts of America ends this hurtful policy, they do not deserve the financial backing of companies that strive for workplace equality. Intel Corporation, the Boy Scouts' largest corporate donor, according to The American Independent, recently announced that they would discontinue funding the Boy Scouts after more than 30,000 Americans joined Scouts for Equality's petition campaign. Now it's time for UPS to do the same.
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.
UPS' own website states "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." We urge UPS to truly live by these words and use their influence to help end the Boy Scouts anti-gay policy.
Please join Scouts for Equality in calling on UPS to pull its contributions to the Boy Scouts of America until the Boy Scouts pull their discriminatory policy
NOTE: We encourage everyone to join this campaign, but if you're a current or former UPS employee, or involved in Scouting, please say so in the "Why People Are Signing" section. Thanks!