Merck Suspends Funding to Boy Scouts of America, Citing BSA's "Policy of Exclusion"

Back in July, the Irving-based Boy Scouts of America reiterated that it won't be having any openly gay folks in its organization. Now, they've lost another corporate sponsor as a result of that policy, the American Independent reports.

The Merck Foundation issued a press release on December 5, saying it had suspended funding to the BSA due to the organization's discrimination against gays and lesbians. The foundation gave around $30,000 to the BSA in 2011 and $10,000 in the first quarter of 2012, according to the Independent.

"The BSA's policy of exclusion based on sexual orientation directly conflicts with the Merck Foundation's giving guidelines," the release said. "The Foundation re-evaluated funding for the BSA when the organization restated its policy that excludes members on the basis of sexual orientation."

The release was reprinted by Scouts For Equality, a group dedicated to opposing anti-gay discrimination in the Scouts. Recently, they've been lobbying the BSA's corporate sponsors; so far, UPS and Intel have both stopped their funding to the BSA, although neither company has said that pressure from Scouts For Equality was the reason behind their decision.

It looks like Scouts For Equality's next target is Verizon; their founder, Zach Wahls has a petition on Change.org urging the company to "help end the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policy." It currently has just shy of 64,000 signatures.

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