December 10, 2012
By Scottie Thomaston
The Merck Foundation (a charitable foundation set up by health care supplier Merck) has announced that it is suspending its funding to the Boy Scouts due to their policy of banning gay scouts as well as gay scout leaders. Merck’s website says:
Merck Foundation has suspended all funding to the Boys Scouts of America (BSA). The Merck Foundation will consider funding the BSA again when the organization’s inclusion criteria has been expanded.
The BSA’s policy of exclusion based on sexual orientation directly conflicts with the Merck Foundation’s giving guidelines. The Foundation re-evaluated funding for the BSA when the organization restated its policy that excludes members on the basis of sexual orientation. Merck Foundation has notified the BSA of this decision.
As part of the broader review of funding decisions in 2013, the Foundation is currently assessing all current and future funding commitments to ensure that it is not funding organizations with policies contrary to its own.
GLAAD has more, noting that Merck is the latest in a string of companies opposed to the Boy Scouts’ gay ban. Intel, UPS, and others have declined to continue funding the Boy Scouts and called for an end to their ban on gay scouts and leaders.
A letter from the Merck Foundation is here.