Merck Pulls Boy Scouts Funding Over Anti-Gay Policy

Said the group's policy barring gay members "directly conflicts" with its giving guidelines

Merck has become the latest big corporation to pull funding from the Boy Scouts in protest of its anti-gay policy.

The pharmaceutical giant said Monday it was cutting all funding to the Boy Scouts of America and would consider giving to it again only if it stops barring gay Scouts and troop leaders.

"The BSA's policy of exclusion based on sexual orientation directly conflicts with the Merck Foundation’s giving guidelines," the company said in a statement.

Merck had given the Boy Scouts $30,000 in 2011, according to records, The Associated Press reported.

The Boy Scouts came under fire in July when it reaffirmed its long-standing anti-gay policy, which states in part, "we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals."

It had already attracted criticism when it ousted a popular Ohio lesbian den leader from her son's troop, and it reinforced it when it refused to give a gay teen his Eagle Scout pin after he had fulfilled all the requirements for the top rank.

Prior to Merck, both UPS and Intel had pulled their funding for the Boy Scouts, after gay rights activist Zach Wahls launched a campaign to lobby sponsors to drop their support contingent on a change to the policy.

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