U.S.

Disney ends funding to Boy Scouts over gay policy

Boy Scouts ‘disappointed’ by Disney’s decision to halt donations next year

A member of Scouts for Equality holds an unofficial knot patch incorporating the colors of the rainbow, a symbol for gay rights, at a 2013 rally calling for gay equality and inclusion in the Boy Scouts of America, in Washington, D.C.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Walt Disney Co. will cut funding to Boy Scout troops beginning in 2015 because of the Scouts’ policy that bans gay adult leaders in the organization.

The Boy Scouts of America is disappointed by the decision, said a statement issued Sunday by Deron Smith, a spokesman for the group. Disney does not provide direct funding for the national organization but donates money to some local troops in exchange for volunteer hours completed by Disney employees, Smith said.

"We believe every child deserves the opportunity to be a part of the Scouting experience, and we are disappointed in this decision because it will impact our ability to serve kids," he said.

David Jefferson, chief spokesman for the Walt Disney Co., did not respond to calls or emails.

Disney's decision came to light after the president of a local Boy Scout council based in Orlando, Fla. — where Disney World is based — sent a memo alerting local troops to the decision.

The memo was posted on the website of Scouts for Equality, an organization that is critical of the Boy Scouts' policy to ban adult gay troop leaders.

The Boy Scouts lifted a ban on gay youths last year.

The Associated Press

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