Intel to Boy Scouts: no more donations if you don't drop anti-gay policy

Intel has informed the Boy Scouts of America that they will no longer be eligible for donations through Intel's charitable donation matching program, unless the BSA abandons its policy of discrimination against gay people. The BSA is the recipient of hundreds of thousands of dollars in Intel donations: $180,000 in 2010 alone. Here's Mike Rogoway in The Oregonian:

It's not that Intel has a particular affinity for Scouting; its employees do. By volunteering as scoutmasters and in other roles, they trigger a $10 corporate donation for each hour spent helping a troop.

"...At the end of the year, to get their grants, we're going to require them to send a letter that they are in compliance with our nondiscrimination policies," Mulloy said.

"We feel strongly about the underlying values that are Intel, very strongly that we have a nondiscrimination policy on a wide variety of issues," he said. "And if you aren't complying, you shouldn't be asking us for money."

In a statement, the national Boy Scouts said it respects Intel's decision. But the organization isn't changing its policies.

Intel will end support for Oregon Boy Scouts over Scouts' policy on gays


  1. In a statement, the national Boy Scouts said it respects Intel’s decision. But the organization isn’t changing its policies.

    That’s actually quite impressive. $180000 drop in income. How much do they get, that they can ignore that?

      1. Which is fine.  As a private, religious organization, they have a right to any bigoted, discriminatory policy they want. I just think it’s heartening that great companies like Intel won’t be contributing to that discrimination.  No business or government funds should go to the boy scouts.  If they wish to continue discriminatory policies, then their money should come from their church and individual donors.

    1. Looks like that doesn’t even make much of a dent in the salary of the “Chief Scout Executive,” who brings home close to a million dollars a year.  This represents, apparently, less than 1/2000 of the organization’s yearly revenue (which appears to have been $300 million last year).  So yeah, looks like they can pretty much ignore it.

  2. First, this is just the Oregon Boy Scouts.  Secondly, until the magnitude of money denied by organizations gets near the level of support the Mormon Church provides, this will have no effect on the national organization.  I suspect we’ll see in a few years a repeal of the national ban on gays in Scouting, left up to the policies of the sponsoring organization (ie, church affiliated troops/packs can still discriminate if it’s in line with their church’s preinciples.)  Until there’s a different Supreme Court decision this is a way for Scouting to allow for a modern policy while “protecting” the “rights” of churches who have prohibitions on homosexual behavior.

  3. I wonder which way the Boy Scouts will go?  Are they going to come to their senses before it is too late, or are they just going to become completely reliant on bigoted churches for funding and find themselves marginalization into a regional organization in the Bible belt?  I can’t speak for the rest of the country, but in the Northeast the Boy Scouts are becoming noticeably more unacceptable.  The local Congregational church yanked their offer to host their meetings and, while this is hardly a scientific survey, I have not gotten harassed at work by parents to donate to Boy Scouts but I still get beaten over the head with demands to fund Girl Scouts (which I do).

    1.  the girl scouts also have cookies, and its hard to say no to cookies. especially when its an actual little girl asking for the money it feels like knocking over a lemonade stand because they used store bought lemonade.
      so in that regard the girl scouts have a really good defense. boys scouts don’t sells things so they are less defended.

      1.  Some Boy Scouts sell things. I think it depends on the troop.

        In at least some parts of Oklahoma, Boy Scouts sell really overpriced popcorn.

        In SoCal, I’ve seen them outside grocery stores selling Christmas greenery.

        When approached, I carefully explain that I won’t give money to Boy Scouts because the national organization discriminates against gays and atheists. Some troops here in SoCal claim that their individual troop doesn’t discriminate, but I point out that money still goes to the national organization, and that it’s the national organization that’s refused to award Eagle Scout status to scouts that would otherwise qualify.

    2.  I’m guessing they’re going to resist any change whatsoever, kicking and screaming the whole way down into obscurity as other, more sensible organizations take their place. I have fond memories of when I was a scout, but those kind of experiences can easily be replicated and improved upon by people who aren’t steeped in religious fundamentalism.

    3. Some divisions (I don’t know how large, I think one was called the Northern Star or something) have announced anti-discrimination policies in their zone, so it’s not completely impossible. Might make those larger group meetings somewhat uncomfortable, though. 

    1. What I don’t understand is why the far more tolerant and positive Girl Scouts don’t simply open themselves up to boys and become The Scouts. Let’s make the BSA irrelevant.

  4. The BSA, like any organization that bans atheists and homosexuals, has become a haven for  pedophiles.  Any organization that claims it is able to isolate itself from free thinkers becomes home to predators.

    1. I don’t think atheists are any less able to molest children than the religious. I don’t see how some silly belief in a sky fairy gives a person special sodomy powers. 

  5. That’s great, but what about the Scouts discrimination against atheists? Doesn’t Intel’s non-discrimination policy also apply to religious discrimination?

  6. That’s ok. God said it was going to be like this, and Jesus said it’s going to get a lot worse than ever before. One would not want to be found resisting the prophecy.

    1. Dead on. Remember, we’re fighting against these peoples’ confirmation bias. We can’t win that fight no matter what we throw at them. We have to get to their kids and give them an alternative viewpoint before their parents’ whackadoodle ideologies get firmly cemented in their heads.

      Education is the answer.

  7. This post finally prompted me to send something to BSA and I wanted to copy a portion of it here. 12 years ago I became an Eagle Scout, but it has been difficult to consider supporting this organization now.”When I was 15 years old, I was fortunate to serve as a counselor at our council’s scout camp. After forming a bond with one of the directors of the camp, I found out he was gay (this was only known to me and a handful of people for obvious reasons). Unlike me, he never received his Eagle Scout rank–not because he didn’t do the work, but because he refused the award after completing the requirements. He felt that scouting had let him down. Rather than leaving scouts after his 18th birthday, however, he continued with scouting and hoped that he could make the organization better from the inside. It is people like him who deserve to be scouts. When I look back on my career in scouting today, it is not learning how to tie a bowline knot or start a fire in a rainstorm that has served me best, it has been the opportunity to work with people like this camp director who were willing to stand up for what they believed in rather than walking away.”

    1.  We can only hope.  They won’t use Apple, which is too leftie squishy hipster, so if they burn their PCs in protest they will be cutting themselves off from their means of communication.  Maybe we should encourage them to go back to their unabomber huts and return to writing angry ALL CAPS letters to the editor on their antique ‘Jesus approved’ typewriters.

      1. Actually, I live in a heavily Republican area, and there’s plenty of iDevices to go around. (Not many Macs, though.)

        But, if it’s a Mac, and it’s newer than a G5, it has to be burned, by the “burn all Intel products” metric. Intel inside. ;)

        1. Some enterprising huckster is sure to build a PC clone and slap a red-state sticker on it.  Maybe one of those fish logos.  Hate Inside.

  8. Thomson Reuters won’t honor matching to the BSA at the current point in time.  I found myself in the position of calling the Charitable Giving campaign to figure out why the the literature explicitly called out not matching to the Scouts, and the answer came back, “Their discriminatory attitudes towards leadership positions.”  

    I could tell that the person on the other end of the phone was ready for further engagement, but I was disarmed pretty effectively.  “Yeah, that’d do it.  Thanks.”

    I understand that I am opening myself up to criticism for being affiliated with BSA, but I’ll defend myself by saying that my den of scouts certainly isn’t in danger of picking up the problematic rhetoric from any of its leaders.  Change from within, even though I realize that’s a pretty weak and potentially self-serving excuse.

    1. It’s great that your particular den doesn’t discriminate, but when it comes time for a gay or atheist scout to earn Eagle Scout status, the national organization won’t award it if the scout is open and honest about who he is.

      You wear the uniform of that organization. You promote that organization. You are serving that organization.

      Personally, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I were in your position.

      Ever looked for alternatives to the Boy Scouts?

    2. And when one of your scouts, who signed up when he was a child, figures out that he’s gay and that he has to lie to get his badge?

      1.  Then maybe we can have a talk and discuss about what options we find ourselves with at that particular crossroads.  Right now, I’d be inclined to say that I’d encourage him to not lie, and I’d be willing to resign.  This goes for whether it was one of my children, or one of the boys in the troop.  (Men at that point, but it seems awfully far away.)

        I can’t remember the exact wording of a release by the BSA this year, but it was something along the lines of “A majority of those involved in scouting support this decision,” I was furious, and considered resigning. I certainly hadn’t been consulted.

        One of the things that prevented me was wondering, “If I resign, then that’s one less person opposed to the decision.”  Does surrendering an organization to the ones you disagree with make an effective policy?

        The Minnesota council also responded with a non-discriminatory policy, but I’m not sure how well it’d hold up if the national council decided to crack down.  If there’s nobody to speak passionately for it,  I’m sure my council would fold.

        1. The trouble is that this is exactly the kind of scenario that leads to so many LGBT adolescents committing suicide. They hit the wall of despair, and no amount of personal and local support can fix it for some of them.

          1.  So best to let the LGBT adolescent join the Scouting ranks and have no chance of finding a positive and supportive leadership?

          2. The only way that the BSA is going to have a positive and supportive leadership is if you execute the current leadership in a coup.

    3. As an Eagle Scout myself who grew up in a very open troop, I salute your desire to change things from within.

    4.  Unfortunately, the Scouts are a top-down organization – how can there be change from within if the leadership never recognizes it or promotes those who do?

      You can manage dissent from within, but change? That seems unlikely.

  9. Does anyone know if any non-American scouting associations have broken off relations with the American association over their bigoted policies on religion and sexuality. Exchanges and jamborees are a big part of scouting and the American leaders might start reconsidering if they were boycotted by the rest of the world.

    1. Boy Scouts America are an American company and are already unaffiliated with the Scouts in other countries, aren’t they?

  10. Please tell me this is just the American boy scouts who discriminate against gay and atheist members. The originals in Britain don’t, do they? Or the scouts of Canada?

    A moment’s googling leads me to relief:
    “Homosexual people are not restricted from membership or leadership positions in Scouts Canada, Scouts Australia, and most European associations, including The Scout Association of the United Kingdom, Ring deutscher Pfadfinderverbände of Germany (German Scout Federation), and the Swedish Guide and Scout Association.[9]”

    1. It’s just the American one, which thankfully has nothing to do with the other national organizations that share it’s name.

  11. iCowboy, I like your thinking. Reminds me of South Africa in the 80s (when I first became aware of world politics).

  12. Affirm that $300 m figure – data for 2010: the $72m line on “net investment gain” – taking S&P as a benchmark, which returned 15% in 2010, the scouts have around $500m in investments.  Wow.I wonder if they have an investment policy that excludes organisations that have any kind of pro-gay position?  Or do they profit from the pink dollar?wtf $1m for the head honcho of scouting??  For an organisation hell-bent on reliving the medaevil crusades??For an organisation that incubated 2,000 known paedophile scout leaders between 1971 and 1991?? ffs, where are the kids meant to be safe?

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