The Walt Disney Company on Saturday
announced that starting next year it would end funding to the Boy
Scouts of America (BSA).
The company said that the BSA's policy
banning openly gay adults is behind the decision.
Disney does not directly donate to the
BSA but volunteer workers are given cash to donate to charity.
Employees participating in the
company's VoluntEARS program will no longer be allowed to give the
money to the Boy Scouts, CNN
BSA spokesman Deron Smith called the
“We believe every child deserves the
opportunity to be a part of the Scouting experience, and we are
disappointed in this decision because it will impact our ability to
serve kids,” Smith said in a statement. “America's youth need
Scouting, and by continuing to focus on the goals that unite us, we
continue to accomplish incredible things for young people and the
communities we serve.”
A policy allowing gay scouts to
participate took effect on January 1. However, the group's ban on
openly gay adults continues.
Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout and
co-founder of Scouts for Equality, applauded the move.
“We're never happy to see Scouting
suffer as a result of the BSA's anti-gay policy, but Disney made the
right decision to withhold support until Scouting is fully
inclusive,” Wahls said in a statement.