Since July, when the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed its policy of excluding gays, the Scouts -- and organizations that give to it -- have come under steady pressure from gay rights organizations that are outraged over the policy. Some of that pressure is beginning to show results.
This week, Intel, which was recently identified as the Scouts' largest corporate funder, announced that it is no longer giving to the youth organization. In 2010, Intel reportedly gave more than $700,000 to local troops and councils.
In a statement to ThinkProgress, Intel clarified its policies, and said that it would no longer give to organizations that were out of step with its nondiscrimination principles. "Earlier this year we revisited our policies associated with the program, and applied new rigor that requires any organization to confirm that it adheres to Intel’s anti-discrimination policy in order to receive funding," Intel’s Chief Diversity Officer wrote in the statement to ThinkProgress. According to ThinkProgress, those Boy Scout troops and councils that do allow gay troops and leaders, in defiance of the organization's policy, are still eligible for Intel's funding.
Earlier this week, Zach Wahls, the founder of Scouts for Equality, a group aimed at changing the Scouts' century-old policy, launched a Change.org petition calling on Intel to end funding of the Scouts until it ends its national ban on gay scouts and scout leaders. Wahls petition was signed by more than 30,000 Americans.
“Intel made the right decision here, in order to live up to their corporate values of diversity, equality and individual liberty,” said Zach Wahls in a press release. “Companies that support the LGBT community simply can’t be in the business of funding organizations that discriminate. Frankly, by sending this message, Intel is upholding the true spirit of Scouting better than the BSA is today.”