ORLANDO, FL, March 3, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Walt Disney World has decided it will stop funding the local Boy Scouts of America chapter beginning next year unless the childhood group allows open homosexuals to serve as Scoutmasters.
The Disney corporation said the BSA violates its non-discrimination policy. Disney World's VoluntEARS program allows employees to trade volunteer work for donations to a charity of their choice. But the scouts will no longer be eligible for these funds.
It is not clear how much money the amusement park provided to the scouts annually. However, that revenue stream may be available again if the scouts change their policy before January 1, 2015.
Homosexual groups said the decision is a sign of their growing influence in the culture, especially in the realm of children's entertainment.
Deena Fidas, the director of workplace equality for the Human Rights Campaign, said, “When you think about brands that exemplify childhood, you think of Disney, and with them dissociating with BSA, it speaks volumes of where we are with the views we want to send to young people.”
On May 23, the Boy Scouts approved a resolution saying that “no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”
But the group drew the line at adulthood and in the case of leaders.
Pro-family leaders predicted at the time the policy would implode, pointing to what they said was the artificial distinction involved in suddenly banning openly homosexual youth from the organization the day they enter legal maturity.
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“The National BSA Council has reached out to [Walt Disney World] to try to resolve the situation,” Central Florida Council Board President Robert Utsey told local members. “[H]owever, according to WDW, their views do not currently align with the BSA and they are choosing to discontinue this level of support.”
Utsey encouraged Disney employees to contact the company directly with their concerns about the policy change.
The Boy Scouts' initial policy change caused many parents to instead enroll their children in Trail Life USA (TLUSA), a Christian alternative created by scouting leaders.