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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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Other Boy Scout councils have also kicked out scouts in recent years while taking in funds from corporate foundations.

In July, a 19-year-old who had previously attained the rank of Eagle Scout in the Pony Express Council in Missouri reportedly was removed from his job at a Boy Scout camp after coming out as gay. The U.S. Bancorp Foundation gave that council $650 in 2010.

Another Boy Scout employee was fired in late-July in California, prompting 10 of his co-workers to resign in protest. The Golden Empire Council fired Eagle Scout Tim Griffin, who was one of the most senior employees at Camp Winton. Griffin and his fellow employees claim he was fired because he is gay. A spokesperson for the council told local media that he was let go over a dress code violation and his "mannerisms and behavior," not because of his sexual orientation.

Intel gave $10,000 to the Golden Empire Council in 2010. That same year, Bank of America gave $931, Verizon gave $3,543, Monsanto gave $281, and Nationwide Insurance and Pfizer each gave $200.

In the fall of 2010, the Circle Ten Council of the Boy Scouts of America in Texas told the gay father of a Cub Scout that he could not be a member of the leadership team of his 9-year old son's pack.

Several corporate foundations have given to the Circle Ten Council. In 2010, Verizon gave $4,440, Bank of America gave $3,940, Abbott gave $225, and Pfizer gave $140.

A Louisville scout leader, Greg Bourke, was asked to resign in August from his son's troop after the Lincoln Heritage Council learned he was gay, according to the Courier-Journal.

Bank of America gave the Lincoln Heritage Council $1,100 in 2010.

Bucking the policy

Not all scout troops and councils are abiding by the national Boy Scouts' policy.

After the Boy Scouts of America announced they were keeping the ban on gay scouts, several Boy Scout affiliates announced their opposition.

In July, an Amherst, Mass., troop sent a letter to the local papers announcing its intention to allow gay scouts.

"We want to reassure you, our friends, neighbors and colleagues, that local Boy Scouts Troop 500 in Amherst does not support BSA's policy," the letter states. "Troop 500 invites the participation of all interested 11-to-17-year-old boys and their parents or guardians without regard to sexual orientation."

In August, a separate Massachusetts Cub Scout pack announced it would allow gays to be members and adopted a "Policy of Acceptance" that states the pack will "openly reject the national policy put forth by Boy Scouts of America barring gay boys from membership and gay or lesbian adults from serving as leaders."

Also in August, a California Cub Scout pack publicly opposed the national policy, and another troop in New York City told the Wall Street Journal that it would not discriminate against gays.

A handful of regional councils located in liberal parts of the country have also rejected the policy.

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