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Newsmonger

Valero, other corporations, giving big to Boy Scouts despite anti-gay policies

Photo: Photo illustration by Chuck Kerr, License: N/A

Photo illustration by Chuck Kerr



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When asked about the Intel's funding policies, Intel Foundation executive director Wendy Ramage-Hawkins told TAI via email: "All organizations seeking financial support from the Intel Foundation are required to affirm their compliance with Intel's non-discrimination corporate donation policy. Organizations that cannot affirm their compliance will not receive funding from the Intel Foundation."

Intel wouldn't say whether or not it would continue to fund the Boy Scouts.

"We will know if and when they affirm our non-discrimination policy and request our support," Ramage-Hawkins said.

She later clarified that the Intel Foundation will be asking for a statement of agreement with their nondiscrimination policy in the next grant cycle but had not done so in the past.

"We have not previously asked for affirmation, so this will be the first time the question is raised," she said.

Funding discrimination

Intel isn't alone in funding the Boy Scouts despite having a policy that would appear to prohibit it.

The charitable giving arm of Aluminum producer Alcoa contributed $9,000 to the Rip Van Winkle Council of the Boy Scout in New York State (another payment of $6,000 was scheduled for 2011) and $25,000 to the "Boy Scouts of America" in 2010. The United Way of Ulster County, New York, ended a 40-year relationship with the Rip Van Winkle Council in 2004 because it refused to sign a non-discrimination statement that included sexual orientation, according to reporting at the time.

The Alcoa Foundation's grant guidelines state that "in general" it does not make grants to "organizations whose policies or actions are inconsistent with Alcoa's non-discrimination policy."

A search of Alcoa's website did not turn up a "non-discrimination policy," but Alcoa has an equal opportunity policy that states: "Alcoa reaffirms its policy to provide equal employment opportunity in recruiting, hiring, upgrading and promotion, conditions and privileges of employment, company-sponsored training, access to facilities, educational assistance, social and recreational programs, compensation, benefits, transfers, discipline, layoffs, recalls or termination of employment to all employees without discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity / expression, veteran status, genetic information, sex or age (within statutory limits)."

The U.S. Bancorp Foundation — the charitable arm of U.S. Bank — gave about $143,000 in 2010, much of it through direct grants, including $78,000 in direct grants to the Western Colorado Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The rest came from an employee-matching grant program. The Western Colorado Council did not return a request for comment and has also declined other media outlets' interview requests related to the ban on gays and lesbians.

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