Chipotle Mexican Grill on Tuesday
withdrew its sponsorship of a Utah Boy Scouts event over the
organization's ban on openly gay scouts and leaders.
The announcement came after
ThinkProgress.com reported that the fast-food eatery's sponsorship
was in violation of its own charitable giving policies.
The progressive blog quoted Chipotle
spokesman Chris Arnold in comments to the Salt Lake Tribune
defending the company's sponsorship of the Utah Scout-O-Rama, the
annual fundraising gala for the Great Salt Lake Council, the largest
Boy Scouts of America (BSA) council and a leading supporter of the
BSA's gay ban.
“In Salt Lake, the Scouting
institution is very strong, and it is our chance to connect with
customers in that community,” Arnold told the paper. He added that
the company “would like to see” the BSA “in a place that's more
inclusive than where they are now.”
In emails to ThinkProgress.com, Arnold
at first pointed out that the company's sponsorship was limited to
“coupons for volunteers and participants and was an effort to
connect with those individuals, not to endorse any Boy Scout
in a subsequent email, Arnold said the company was withdrawing
from the event.
“By way of follow up, we have
terminated our sponsorship of this event,” Arnold wrote.
“As I mentioned yesterday, community
support decisions like this are made in a decentralized way and this
one was inconsistent with our own policy. We believed that
terminating the sponsorship and remaining consistent with our policy
was the right thing to do, and we have reinforced our policy with the
team that makes these decisions to try to prevent similar issues in