Orlando, Fla. (CBS TAMPA) — Walt Disney has cut off funding to the Boy Scouts of America reportedly due to differing “views” regarding the organization’s discriminatory policies toward gay members.
The Florida-based Walt Disney World is another company that has stopped giving money to the Boy Scouts for the group’s ongoing policy of banning gay members over the age of 18 and keeping gay parents from leading troops or packs, Mother Jones first reported. Although the group began allowing gay scouts to join in January, the Central Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) says that the organization is in a financial squeeze from the alleged loss of the Disney money.
“In losing this grant money…we may have to cut back on activities, delay replacing aging equipment, or reduce ‘high-adventure’ camping. Unless the families can make up the difference, we will have reduced experiences for the boys available,” a Florida pack and troop leader, who wished to remain anonymous because of potential retaliation from the local scouting community, told Mother Jones.
“My kids are losing money solely based on National BSA’s moral judgment against gay people. It’s not what I believe or teach my kids. Discrimination is not what we practice as a local scout unit.”
The Disney company did not directly donate funds to the national Boy Scouts organization, but donated to a program, “Ears to You,” which dispersed charity money to employees and volunteers within the BSA. Walt Disney World has not responded to the letter sent by the BSA Central Florida Council regarding the cut in funds.
When reached for comment regarding the alleged funding cut, Disney told MoJo that the company’s “views do not currently align with the BSA and they are choosing to discontinue this level of support.” But the company stopped short of specifically referencing the group’s policies toward gay members as the cause for the cuts.
Walt Disney World’s Standards of Business Conduct states that the company permits no discrimination regarding “sex, sexual orientation [and] gender identification.”
However, Brad Hankins of the Scouts for Equality – a group that advocates pro-LGBT policies within the organization – questioned what policies could possibly be considered discriminatory.
“Beyond the membership policies, what other views does the BSA hold that are controversial?”