Intel withdraws Boy Scouts support over homophobic policy

Intel has stopped donating to the Boy Scouts of America over the organisation's stringent anti-gay policies.

Intel has stopped donating to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) over the organisation's stringent anti-gay policies.

(Credit: Intel)

Through the Intel Involved Volunteer Program, the chip manufacturer has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Boy Scouts of America. Every hour an employee spends volunteering, the company matches with a US$10 donation. In 2010, according to American Independent, that came to around US$700,000— making Intel the BSA's largest corporate donor.

However, after a petition by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community activist Zach Wahls, Intel announced that it had clarified its Matching Grant Program policies, stating that "organisations that discriminate on the basis of race, colour, creed, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran or disability statuses" do not qualify for the donations.

The Boy Scouts of America has a very firm anti-gay policy:

While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals, or who engage in behaviour that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.

In a statement to Oregon Live, BSA spokesman Deron Smith said that Intel's withdrawal of support would have no effect on its policies. "We fully understand and appreciate that not everyone will agree with any one position or policy; however, we believe a strong partnership does not require full agreement on every societal issue."

Maybe not, but for Intel, this is clearly a deal-breaker. As it should be.

CNET Australia contacted Boy Scouts Australia for information on local policies, we will update when we have more information.


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