The Walt Disney Company announced Saturday it would withdraw funding from the Boy Scouts of America beginning in 2015 unless the scouting organization overturns a policy banning gay leaders.
Disney doesn’t directly donate to the Boy Scouts, but plans to stop allowing employees to do volunteer work through Disney’s VoluntEARS program in exchange for cash donations to the Boy Scouts of America, reports CNN.
Disney employees raised a total of $4.8 million for charity in 2010 by volunteering for various events, including a triathlon for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Revlon Run-Walk for cancer, and Children’s Hospital of Orange County Walk at Disneyland Resort. Groups become ineligible to receive aid from Disney through the company’s volunteer-for-cash programs if they discriminate based on “race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, marital status, mental or physical ability, or sexual orientation,” the company said.
The Boy Scouts of America voted last year to maintain a ban on gay Scout leaders, but allowed gay youths to join the Scouts’ ranks.
Scouts for Equality, a group working to end discrimination in the Boy Scouts, voiced support for Disney’s decision to end funding for the Boy Scouts over the banning of gay leaders.
“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,” Eagle Scout and Scouts for Equality co-founder Zach Wahls said.
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