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Disney Halts Funding for Boy Scouts LA Times

"Walt Disney Co. said it will stop financial support for Boy Scouts-related organizations beginning next year because of the Scouts' policy banning adult leaders who are gay," the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Boy Scouts organization indicated it is "disappointed" with Disney's decision.

The Times reports: "The company’s decision was made public after the president of a Boy Scouts council in Apopka, Fla., sent local troops a memo on Disney’s move.

"Robert Utsey’s letter was posted on a website for Scouts for Equality, an organization advocating against the ban on gay leaders, according to the Associated Press. Utsey said the National Boy Scouts of America’s Council had reached out to Disney to resolve the situation."

Said Utsey: “However, according to [Walt Disney World], their views do not currently align with the BSA. We will continue to keep an open line of communication with them, but at this time, are unable to reverse their decision.”

Burbank, Calif.-based Disney does not provide money to the Boy Scouts' national or local councils, the paper notes, citing Boy Scouts spokesman Deron Smith, but Disney does give grants to small grants to local troops and packs.

In a statement, 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."

The report adds: "A Disney spokeswoman told the Orlando Sentinel that the company does not give grants to organizations that 'operate or support activities that are counter to the policies of The Walt Disney Company.'"

The Scouts lifted their long-standing ban on gay minors Jan. 1, but kept in place a restriction on gay adult Scout leaders, the piece notes.

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