Merck Foundation Suspends Funding to Boy Scouts of America Over its Anti-Gay Policies

The Merck Foundation has joined Intel and UPS in cutting off funds to the Boy Scouts of America over the group's anti-gay policies, GLAAD reports.

MerckMerck's announcement:

The Merck Foundation believes that it is critical to honor and support a foundational policy of diversity and inclusion in all funding decisions. Recently, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) restated its policy that excludes members on the basis of sexual orientation. The BSA’s policy of exclusion directly conflicts with the Merck Foundation’s giving guidelines. On that basis the Merck Foundation has decided to suspend funding to the BSA. The decision to suspend support applies to direct funding from the Merck Foundation, the matching of gifts from Merck employees, and paid time off for volunteering.

The Foundation has supported the BSA for many years and we continue to herald the fine work that the BSA has done in communities throughout the country. We know that many of you have personally contributed to the BSA and that this decision may be upsetting to some of you. However, we cannot continue to provide support to an organization with a policy that is contrary to one of our core beliefs. We remain ready and willing to re-consider our funding position in the event that the BSA were to revise its policy.

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.

We’re confident that this decision is aligned with our high ethical giving standards and strong core beliefs, and reinforces our long-standing commitment to policies that prevent against discrimination.


Brian Grill
Merck Foundation


  1. Kevin Foster says

    We need to get United Way to stop funding this egregious discrimination. Not another dime to United Way until they do.

  2. norseman says

    Sad that it has to come to this sort of financial embargo to help them to see the error of their ways. But this seems justified. Let’s hope it works and the organization joins the 21st century

  3. Fu'ad says

    Whoever is effectuating these withdrawals of funding by these major foundations should be applauded. The BSA will not be able to stem the tide.

    As a further step in the homosexual agenda, I suggest we seek ways of promoting education and dialog that helps the uneducated to understand that gay does not equal pedophile.

    Right now, a very large segment of the Boy Scouts and its leadership is Mormon. I think we might have to await another revelation, a la polygamy, before they bend to the course of history.

  4. KT says

    Pleasantly surprised by the Merck annoucement. I know Zach Wahls and the Scouts for Equality are working on a company by company basis and are currently asking Verizon to stop their BSA funding (after the success of the Intel and UPS petitions). The Merck annoucement came out of the blue though I imagine there is more going on behind the scenes then we realize. Kudos to Wahls and his group – one by one the corporate funders will drop.

  5. Paul says

    We need to tell all the people who support hate and discrimination that they need to stop supporting these hate groups like the anti-gay Boy Scouts and the anti-gay Christian churches who do this. We need to tell the people we do business with to stop giving money to people who hate and discriminate and when they fail to stop giving money to hate groups and group who discriminate we need to stop doing business with them until they do.

  6. Anita Pill says

    @Kevin. Agreed. However, we need to also get the Combine Federal Campaign to do that same. The CFC is the Federal employees equivalent to the United Way.

  7. Anita Pill says

    It’s such a shame that the BSA has gone so far astray from it’s core beliefs established at its founding. The BSA is nothing more than a tool for the right wing nuttery that is terrorizing America. Sadly, only the youth pay the price for the bigotry of the BSA’s leadership.

  8. Icebloo says

    We also need to target the Salvation Army. This year I have approached every bell ringer/charity collector of theirs to tell them of the hate they are funding and the amount of money the Salvation Army is giving to the Republicans to elect politicians who are wanting to take away Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Food Stamps, Access to healthcare etc.

    I think we all need to do this.

  9. Diogenes Arktos says

    @Kevin Foster: some United Way agencies have already cut funding

    @Icebloo: Are all of the bell ringers actual members of the Salvation Army? At one point some agencies were hiring the homeless to collect for them. I don’t know what they’re doing now.