Zach Wahls, the young man whose passionate defense of his two mothers in front of Iowa legislators went viral two years ago, is an Eagle Scout who is using his internet fame to fight the anti-gay policies of the Boy Scouts of America.
Although Wahls has so far been unsuccessful in getting the BSA to allow openly gay scouts and scout leaders into the organization, his Change.org petition this week was successful in getting Intel.corp to stop donating to BSA.
An American Independent report had revealed that the company gave nearly $700,000 to the Boy Scouts in 2010 despite having a policy that it would not fund ‘organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, veteran or disability status.’
Wahls got more than 30,000 people to sign the petition this week and by Friday (21 September), could declare victory.
In a statement released to Think Progress, Intel’s Chief Diversity Officer, Rosalind Hudnell, said the company was no longer funding BSA troops that discriminate.
‘Earlier this year we revisited our policies associated with the program, and applied new rigor that requires any organization to confirm that it adheres to Intel’s anti-discrimination policy in order to receive funding,’ she said.
Hudnell also stressed that the $700,000 from 2010 was not directly to BSA as an organization but instead money donated to local Boy Scout troops or councils ‘where our employees volunteer their time, through our volunteer matching grants program.’
Says Wahls:’Intel made the right decision here, in order to live up to their corporate values of diversity, equality and individual liberty. Companies that support the LGBT community simply can’t be in the business of funding organizations that discriminate. Frankly, by sending this message, Intel is upholding the true spirit of Scouting better than the BSA is today.’