UPS to Scouts: no more money until you drop anti-gay policy

United Parcel Service has joined Intel in telling the Boy Scouts of America that it will no longer be eligible for corporate donations unless it ends its anti-gay policies. UPS gives $150,000 a year to the Scouts. Jacques Couret writes more in the Atlanta Business Chronicle:

Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, founder of Scouts for Equality, began a campaign on to pressure Boy Scout corporate donors just after Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) halted its support for BSA.

“UPS showed true bravery today in standing with the 80,000 Americans, including thousands of Scouts and Scout leaders, who oppose the Boy Scouts’ hurtful anti-gay policy,” Wahls said in a statement. “That bravery is what Scouting is all about,. Corporate America gets it better than most: policies that discriminate aren’t simply wrong, they’re bad for business and they’re hurting the Scouting community.”

GLAAD said UPS told it that under revised guidelines, organizations that are unable to attest to having a policy or practices that align with The UPS Foundation’s non-discrimination policy will no longer be considered eligible for funding.

UPS cuts future funding to Boy Scouts over org’s gay policies (via Making Light)


  1. For the record, when the Libertarians say “the free market will correct itself” this is to which they refer. The only way for the BSOA to get out of this mess is to either change their policy (and mean it) or to go bankrupt. I can’t wait to see which other corporate sponsors jump on this bandwagon (they’d be stupid not too).

    1. The free market is the reason that a few dozen super-rich corporations have been able to keep the BSA afloat for all these years, and will continue to be able to, even in the face of widespread public criticism.  Meanwhile, the free market continues to steadfastly support Chik-Fil-A’s virulently anti-gay practices: despite the hate they espouse, the profit keeps flowing.

      The market does not care about equality or tolerance, it is incapable of caring about anything but money.  It is us who are correcting the market.

      1. Amen. I don’t think we should rely on the (non-existent) invisible hand of the market to ‘sort’ civil rights and hate speech issues.

      2.  Please note: BSA – Business Software Alliance, BSOA – Boy Scouts of America. That Really confused me there for a moment…

        1. Boy Scouts of America has used BSA for it’s acronym long before the Business Software Alliance was ever thought of. I don’t know anyone who calls it BSoA.

    2. Are you kidding me? As someone who has been incredibly active in the fight for equality since 2008, IT IS NOT THE CORPORATIONS MAKING CHANGE. Corporations aren’t people!

      It’s all of the little people making noise and getting shit done. Period.

      If we, the little people, hadn’t started making noise, then the “market” wouldn’t be “correcting itself” because it wouldn’t have a reason to.

      WE are giving them a reason to change.

      Don’t get me wrong, this is fantastic, but can you please give credit to the actual people doing the damn work?

    3. “For the record, when the Libertarians say “the free market will correct itself” this is to which they refer”

      No, this is most certainly not to which they refer. They refer to “corrections” when they explain why lobbying against public safety is evil, but defunding the FDA and EPA then allowing the lobbyist-abusing groups to self-regulate would solve all problems.

      1.  I was thinking PR wise , i just find it odd they use the boy scouts as a leverage after massive rape and sodomizing scandals , makes it hard for Gay people to get a fair shake . 

        1. I thought this was a child abuse issue. I take your answer to be No, you’re not taking it as seriously as you say you think people should. Thanks for responding at all.

  2. What pleases me about these corporate sponsorship shakeups (aside from the direct monetary hit) is not so much the illusion that gigantic impersonal multinationals are suddenly feeling warm and fuzzy (because I doubt it); but that their giant impersonal PR machines have concluded that being against discrimination will, on the balance, be better for business than being for it.

    This suggests that the companies’ image weasels have concluded that team anti-gay is either too feckless to actually damage their business interests, or sufficiently outweighed by anti-discrimination enthusiasts.

    1. … but that their giant impersonal PR machines have concluded that being against discrimination will, on the balance, be better for business …

      Not to mention the money they save.

    2.  Lots of new data are showing the impact of proper Corporate Governanace and Social Responsibility programs on the bottom line. Basically, staff care about soul-less organisations and don’t work as well, customers also care about who they buy from.

    1. As a queer atheist, can we stop pretending that discrimination of atheists, especially in 2012, is ANYTHING AT ALL like the discrimination of LGBQT people?  Seriously, yo.  Just ‘cuz you’re a white dude that doesn’t believe in god doesn’t mean you know what it’s like to be really discriminated against.

      1.  in general I would like to agree with you but try doing a tour in the military, going to a military academy or just plain living in a rural area. Try finding a job if  you’re not the right religion – or a wife.
        Of course LGBT are worse off (now), but religious discrimination is nothing to sneeze at – wasn’t too long ago that you were burnt at the stakes for saying the wrong thing. You don’t notice the difference ’cause you’re already being discriminated for one thing.

        1. I am a queer atheist that grew up in the middle of nowhere Arizona. My 8th grade class had 13 students. Don’t patronize me. I know what it’s like to live as a queer atheist in SMALL TOWN ARIZONA. Oh, hay, and I’m a woman, too! At least I’m white. Phew, dodged a bullet there, I guess.

          I’d much, much, MUCH rather be open about my atheism (and I am) than I am about my sexuality (I’m open to close friends, not so much my family or the people I grew up with in my home town).

          I also still live in Arizona — in Phoenix.  And I know of two gay men who were beaten up for being gay less than 2 miles from my apartment.  Last Friday.  On Sunday, I openly made out with my girl date on my street.  Now I wonder if that was such a good idea, even though I happen to live in the gayest gay neighborhood of the gayborhood.

          I do not feel like that about my non-belief.

          They are not the same things, not in America, not even close.

      2. Its all the same shit. Its the same if someone calls you n****r, sneers heathen or names f*g. It fucking hurts. The discrimination isnt the same? Sure it is! Its always the same hate. 

        It maybe not the same for you but for many people it is. Because you didnt feel the Anti-atheist sentiments it does not mean they dont exist. Nor does it mean that they are any less unfair.

        I have friends in Iran and they get shot if they say that they Atheist. At the same time they get hung for being Gay.

        When i see many rightwing blogs and hate sites the sentiment against atheists as well as LGBT and others is the all same: Of to prison with them! Keep them away from our children! Throw them out of the country! “Kauft nicht bei *please insert your name for the group you hate in German* ” 

        Its the same for me if someone looses his job at some Burgerchain for being gay, for having a immigrant background or for not part taking in the daily prayer or visiting the church on Sunday.

        1. Atheists face a great deal of social discrimination, but they still generally have equal rights under the law, such as marriage equality.  That’s a big difference.

          It’s like saying that the Civil Rights Act doesn’t matter because people still do discriminatory things.  It’s still vastly better to have rights enshrined in law, even if you sometimes have to fight to get them in reality.

          1. On the other hand there are multiple states in the US where you cant do some or any Official position in the administration if you arent a believer. And this stated in theyr Constitutions.

            Namely Arkansas (§19), Maryland (§37) , Mississippi (§14.265), North Carolina (§6.8), South Carolina(§17.4), Tennessee (§9.2) and Texas (§1.4).

            The problem that i see is that in the USA  (as well as in other countries like my own Germany) State and Religion arent properly separated and that the Laws&codes dont get revisited often enough to support tolerance and equality.  I dont like to have “Generally” the same rights, i want to have “definitely” the same rights as and for everyone. And that includes Marriage btw. so i can mary my boyfriend. (Civil union isnt the same as mariage here) 

          2. “On the other hand there are multiple states in the US where you cant do some or any Official position in the administration if you arent a believer. And this stated in theyr Constitutions.”

            Unconstitutional language still stands in State constitutions, waiting for re/introduction.

        2. This isn’t Iran!

          A young, prominent gay man in my local gay community and his friend were recently beat up in the streets of my city. Less than 2 miles from my apartment. Last Friday.  This hits particularly close to home because I live in the gayest neighborhood of all of Phoenix (we actually have a really vibrant gay community), and just this past Sunday morning I gave my girl date a very passionate kiss goodbye on my street, and was thinking, “I fucking love living in the gayborhood!”  The next morning, I learned of the two men who were beaten up for being gay.That shit is in my damn back yard, man, and I know of two additional attacks in the last year or two in other neighborhoods (Tempe and Scottsdale).  I don’t know of even one atheist who has been beaten up for not believing in a god.  Do you?

          And I know what discrimination against my atheists beliefs feel like.  I live in Arizona!  I’m from a tiny town in Arizona and I know maybe one other atheist from my home town.  It’s not exactly popular to not believe in god.  I certainly am not vocal about it with most of my employers or co-workers.

          I’m still FAR FAR FAR FAR more comfortable being an out atheist/skeptic than I am being an out queer woman, let me fucking tell you what.

          And, no, it’s not the fucking same.  Gay people can’t get married, no matter their religious affiliation  in most of this country.  I know gay people who have been beaten up.  As uncomfortable as being an atheist around my religious family in my religious home town, it’s still far scarier to be open about my sexuality.

          1. This isnt just your hometown either. You may be lucky and quite frankly as far as freedom goes you still are. (and having Obama on his second term makes me hope it stays that way).

            Well i could go on about people on the Philipines being murdered for atheism, Atheist in Israel, Greece and Poland (living on the eastern border of Germany that is my backyard) being beat up or i could give you a history lesson.

            Yes Gay-people cant get married and thats a shame but there are other laws that also are unfair to nonreligious people in one way or another.

          2. Well i could go on about people on the Philipines being murdered for atheism

            But we’re talking abut the US.

          3. I’m really replying to Antinous here, but as their post conveniently doesn’t have a reply link, I’m leaving a comment here instead.

            This is a global issue and it is appropriate to talk about what happens in other countries because Scouting is a global organisation. Although the BSA only sets their discriminatory policy in the USA, it affects the rest of us in Scouting around the world. Here, in Australia, people feel afraid to join Scouts because of the policies of the BSA and they think that we are about the same thing. We’re not – but the policies still affect us.

            And, as long as the BSA in America is still discriminating and not standing up for equality, Scouting organisations in other countries, which include the Phillipines and Uganda and 130 other countries world wide, have an ally in discrimination and a model they can point to to say that the BSA reflects cultural norms (how they justify their discrimination) in their own country so we can reflect the cultural norms here in ours.

            When the BSA finally gets it together and embraces equality, there will be one less reason for Scouting bodies in other countries to ignore the call for equality from their members in their own country and Scouts world wide.

            And, we know that Scouting, as a Youth movement, is an important agent for cultural change. So don’t we want to be talking about the global stage that Scouting has a role in? Don’t we want to be hoping that discrimintation anywhere and for any reason comes to an end? So open your eyes and see that this issue with the BSA is more than a US issue. It matters to everyone, everywhere.

      3. I don’t recall equating the two in my nine word post.  Perhaps we should ignore all discrimination except that against LGBQT people until all that work is done, and then we can move on to the next on the list.  Because unless you are REALLY REALLY REALLY discriminated against you can’t understand or empathize with others, or have any right to suggest that a lesser discrimination be eliminated as well.

        Or maybe we can walk and chew gum at the same time and try to eliminate discrimination when we see it.  Maybe when we see an organization that is discriminating against two characteristics we can demand that they stop discriminating against BOTH groups instead of working on one and then the next. 

        But you miss the nature of the way atheists are discriminated against in the Boy Scouts.  In every activity that the Boy Scouts engages in, in every oath, in every recitation a Scout must positively assert a believe in God.  In order to be Boy Scouts atheists must lie, dishonestly state something about themselves that is not true.  In the 70s my brother was a big-time scout, with awards and badges and other awesome stuff but when a friend of his was kicked out for mentioning to an assistant Scout Master (or whatever they call them) that he was an atheist. My brother, also an atheist, felt obligated to give up something he loved — Scouting — in order to be honest about himself and to support his friend.

        If you want to belittle that, you go ahead.  Is it as bad as what gays face?  No.  Is it discrimination? Yes.

        Remember that for many years it was many lesbians and gays did not think that bisexuals should be a part of the coalition, and then once it was LGB there were a lot of arguments over whether transgendered individuals should be included.  Now it’s assumed that gender identity is a integral to the movement.  There is no bright line on what discrimination is wrong and should be eliminated, and we are constantly working to find and eliminate it.

        Yeah, I’m a white guy.  And straight. And educated. And upper middle class. And married. And a father. And a homeowner. I’m also a Christian, so as far as personal discrimination I haven’t faced a whole lot of it. But your attitude suggests that unless I have personally faced discrimination there is no way I can be involved in fixing the problem.  That I helped found an gay-rights student group in college in the 80s, that I was the first elected official in NJ to publicly come out for marriage equality in NJ, that I won an award from Garden State Equality for an ad campaign a group of us made supporting marriage equality in the 00s means nothing. 

        But my feeling is that when you see discrimination and have an opportunity to eliminate it you should take that opportunity.  I have worked to do so in many cases, small and large, popular and unpopular. In this case it makes no sense to focus on one population banned by the Boy Scouts and not another, especially when we could easily do both at the same time instead of doing it one by one.  So I mentioned that we should focus on both to continue the upward path our country has been on for 230+ years instead of discriminating between one group and another.

        1. You know, it seems that every fucking time this subject comes up, some whiny white dude has to come in here and whine about how we aren’t paying enough attention to them.  “But but but, they discriminate against me, too!  I mean, why aren’t you mentioning me?  I’m an atheist! The discrimination against me as a white male atheist in america is totally the same as the discrimination against gay people! TOTALLY! ME ME ME ME ME!”

          Yes, no shit, they discriminate against atheists, but good lord, sorry if I care far more about the men in my neighborhood that were recently beat up for being gay than I do about some poor guy on the internet who isn’t getting enough attention.

          Nice derailing, white straight dudes!  Y’all are fucking awesome at that, aren’t you?

          1. I’m fairly confident you didn’t bother to read or try to understand what I wrote, but I’ll try to do it more succinctly this time.

            Yes, every time the BOY SCOUTS discriminating against boys who are different come up some whiny white dude wants to talk about ALL the discrimination instead of just one aspect of it. It is no heavier lift to argue against both actions by the Boy Scouts than to talk about one, so why not do both?

            And they’re not discriminating against me, and I’m not advocating for me. I’m not an atheist, which if you READ what I wrote you’d know. Instead I am a person who is not discriminated against but works to help other people who are get in a better place. Maybe you should read this essay by Dan Savage.

          2. Oh, Dan Savage?  You mean the Dan Savage that has a problem with my being Bisexual?  And you know regardless of how you feel about his feelings on Bisexuals, you can’t deny his transphobic language.

            Do you know JUST how much inter-discrimination there is within the LGBQT world?

            But thanks for the mansplainin’ dude.

            And for the record, the LGBQT community is quite the religious one, including as of lately.

            I actually go to a gay church on occasion, ‘cuz it’s right next to my apartment and I know people that go and they are a blast. I’m an atheist. They know I’m an atheist. No one cares. Just something good I wanted to share.

          3. Hey, Marlove? How about reading what I’ve written instead of picking one thing to attack.  Read the whole of it, try to understand where I’m coming from, then attack me.

            If you look up in my second note I discussed intra-discrimination within the LGBQT community as a way of noting that we should work towards eliminating all discrimination.

            But really what I take from all this is that you want to be right, and want me to be wrong.  The common ground we hold is less important to you than spitting on me and people like me.

        2. But my feeling is that when you see discrimination and have an opportunity to eliminate it you should take that opportunity.

          And, you know, I have enough on my fucking plate, holy hell.
          No, it really, really isn’t my job, as a queer woman, to confront all discrimination whenever I see it.

          Tell me, what have *you* done lately to end discrimination, as a straight, white, Christian male? Aside from making privileged comments on the internet, of course.

          ‘Cuz I’ve risked arrest (protests).  And my life, really, by just being openly affectionate in public with a woman. And that’s nothin’ compared to what so many people do every day in this country in the fight for equality.

          These kinds of comments generally come from someone who probably hasn’t faced discrimination before, let alone fought against it. And commenting on the internet does not count.

          1. who’s whining now? Dude up there was simply trying to encourage the progressive idea that discrimination in ALL its forms is wrong and should be discouraged.. not that one is worse than the other (obviously your opinion).. I’m glad that you can be so open about your atheism with your friends (public is a different thing.. like kissing on the street)..why you go to church confuses me, but whatever.. why, however, would you try and get all grumpy with someone who doesn’t even have anything at stake here? You should be embracing someone who has your interests at heart, ESPECIALLY when they are not his own

        3. well put.. gays got it bad, no doubt.. and I would never profess to belittle what anyone with an “alternative sexual agenda” has had to go through in their life.. but, much like the lesbian atheist in Arizona who only feels discriminated against for who she loves because of her local environment.. I know for a fact that nobody at my office would give a rat’s patoot if I were “set the boat on fire gay”.. I do, however, often find myself being singled out because of my atheism and biting my tongue in conversation for the sake of avoiding the same tired claims about my assumed hatred of christmas .. I will also point out that (if my count is correct) there are 3 openly gay Congressmen and now 0 honest atheists

  3. It is sad that it has come to this. I am former eagle scout who returned my badges and medals to the nation council an requested that my name be removed from the eagle scout list. I have a lot of great memories from scouting but I can not support an organization that is that discriminatory. It may be only a PR stunt for these companies but it is a starting point that will hopefully make the national council of the BSA to re-evaluate it stances and bring some real change. And for the chick-fil-la issue I am from the Boston area and the support for them came because a government official mumbles Menieo would not allow a company to move into Boston if they did not do what he said and simply excising his first amendment rights. Even thought I disagree with what Dan Cathy said I will defend his right to say it.

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