Post submitted by Chloe Stokes, HRC Digital Media Intern.
The Walt Disney Company will pull funding to the Boy Scouts of America in 2015 due to the BSA’s ban on LGBT leaders, the company stated Friday.
Disney has given money to the Boy Scouts through VoluntEARS, a program that gives Disney employees the opportunity to volunteer in exchange for donations to their chosen charities.
While Disney’s new policy will not affect employees who choose to volunteer with the Boy Scouts, they will no longer be able to donate funds to the organization.
By ending financial support of the Boy Scouts, Disney continues its efforts to promote LGBT equality and end workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or otherwise.
Based on Disney’s guidelines for charitable giving, groups can lose funding if they “discriminate in the provision of services unlawfully or in a manner inconsistent with Disney’s policies on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, marital status, mental or physical ability, or sexual orientation.”
Currently, the BSA job application explicitly says gays and lesbians need not apply, as it reads: “The Boy Scouts of America will not employ atheists, agnostics, known or avowed homosexuals.”
Disney continues to make steps to advance LGBT equality, participating in HRC’s Corporate Equality Index since the program’s launch in 2002, and repeatedly topping the list as one of the Best Places to Work.
Although the Boy Scouts ended their longstanding ban on gay youth last year, the organization still prohibits gay Scout leaders.
Disney’s commendable decision comes weeks before the launch of the 2015 CEI survey. Beginning next year in the 2016 survey, participants will be required to have inclusive giving guidelines in place, which would prohibit employers’philanthropic giving to non-religious organizations that have a written policy of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/ or gender identity. Click here to read more about the new criteria.