Boy Scouts | Chipotle | News | Utah

Chipotle Does Not Support Companies That Discriminate Against Gays Unless They Are the Boy Scouts

Chipotle

UPDATE: They canceled.

Yesterday I posted an item noting that donations to Utah Scout-O-Rama, the annual fundraiser for the Great Salt Lake Council, had fallen from $70,000 to $8,000 because of complaints over the BSA's anti-gay policies.

In that item was a note that Chipotle Mexican Grill was providing food for the event.

Towleroad received an email from a reader who complained to Chipotle about its decision to support the Utah Scout-O-Rama. The company said that it was ignoring its own policies against discrimination to support the event:

Paul,

Thanks for sharing your concern. Due to the strength of the Scouting community in Salt Lake, it's a chance for us to connect with customers in that community. It is our hope the the Scouts will be more inclusive soon.

In truth, our involvement with the fundraiser is inconsistent with our policy of not supporting organizations that discriminate against sexual orientation, race, and other personal factors. Our intention was not to express support of any Boy Scout policies but to support the children in the Scouts in Utah, many of whom are fans and customers of ours. We are sorry for how our decision to support this fundraiser affect you.

We will continue to support the LGBT community by sponsoring Pride festivals and other events. Chipotle would not be what it is today without gay people, and we are appreciative of our gay fans and gay coworkers.

We appreciate your genuine concern and hope that you will visit our restaurants in the future.

Sincerely,
Louisa

Louisa Nickel | Customer Service Consultant
Chipotle Mexican Grill

Think Progress reached out to Chipotle company spokesman Chris Arnold and he basically told them the same thing:

We have built our brand largely by reaching out to people on a grassroots level and have done that working with a variety of community groups around the country, including school groups, youth sports, pride events, music festivals, food events and farmers’ markets, among many others. Our intention in doing that isn’t to endorse the policies of those groups, but rather to reach individuals (in this case the scouts themselves) through groups that are important in a given community. These decisions are made by a team of people around the country with the intention of connecting our restaurants with people in those communities.

That being said, this decision is not consistent with our own values, and we have used this opportunity to reinforce those values with the team that makes those decisions for us.

How do you feel about Chipotle supporting the Boy Scouts?

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Comments

  1. It makes me not want to eat there anymore. There are so many other options. It makes it easy to choose something different!

    Posted by: Joe | Mar 19, 2013 10:26:21 AM


  2. Double standards.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Mar 19, 2013 10:28:53 AM


  3. Chipotle knows its customer base, and if this were two years ago, I'd be onboard with Joe. However, it's 2013. We're seeing the end of bigotry, maybe even in the Boy Scouts. Chipotle has been good to the LGBT community (as stated) in the past. Far more charitable money will come from Chipotle in the future. Chipotle is not Chick-Fil-A.

    Posted by: John M. | Mar 19, 2013 10:30:38 AM


  4. Er, an end to THIS FLAVOR of bigotry against LGBTs. Sadly, not all bigotry.

    Posted by: John M. | Mar 19, 2013 10:31:09 AM


  5. Ugh. I just need to not be on the internet this morning.

    If this is all about "community" maybe they should connect with the girl scouts, who aren't anti-gay. Or, maybe they should connect with, you know, public schools. Most kids go to those, and every community has them. And, even in SLC, I'm guessing they don't have anti-gay policies (at least not on the books). Or get involved in youth sports, which probably is pretty neutral with regard to issues about sexuality. Or maybe just give food for, um, "community" festivals like parades and fairs and that sort of thing. I hear that helps connect with the community too.

    But if you're going to connect with a community through an organization that only serves one gender and only openly includes straight people, and is directly connected with Christianity and not other religions, then maybe you shouldn't pretend it's about "community" at all, and maybe you shouldn't pretend to be any more or less "gay friendly" than any other business.

    Posted by: Thomas | Mar 19, 2013 10:34:06 AM


  6. This was some middle management or even branch manager decision that probably went unnoticed by uncorporate and probably wasn't thought out much at the time. Now they're not willing to throw that decision-maker under the bus. It's no big deal. The boy scouts won't be changed through burritos.

    Posted by: Kári Emil | Mar 19, 2013 10:34:34 AM


  7. Sounds like they want to have their taco and eat it too- if it is inconsistant with your policies, why do it? Or are your policies just fodder to keep us buying your product while you sell us down the road. I learned to live without Chick-kil-A, and their chicken was really good. You guys will not even be missed!

    Posted by: Doug | Mar 19, 2013 10:35:20 AM


  8. Agreed with John M. This is one instance where boycott would be less helpful than more. Let's look at the big picture.

    Posted by: Mikey | Mar 19, 2013 10:35:37 AM


  9. I rarely post at all so posting twice is almost unheard of for me, but here it goes. To the person who thinks a boycott would not be helpful or useful- WAKE UP. Fifty years after the voting rights act and this past election we saw how many attempts at voter disenfranchisment via republican law makers? All attemps at bigotry need to be shown for what they are, and victories such as voting rights or gay rights or marriage rights must be continually fought for. Winning a battle is not winning a war. The bigots will never give up, and so we must continue to illuminate our oppressors and the folks who support them.

    Posted by: Doug | Mar 19, 2013 10:46:43 AM


  10. Yeah we have "integrity" but when that integrity costs us ....well, you understand......it was just tokanism in the first place and not meant to be taken literally.

    And beside, we were taken out of context.

    How much of this hypocritical $hit can we take ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 19, 2013 10:47:10 AM


  11. That's among the worst corporate BS I've ever seen. When you completely contradict yourself, don't fully admit to it. You look stupid. Then again, nearly everything about SLC is creepy.

    Posted by: Paul R | Mar 19, 2013 10:50:42 AM


  12. The fact that its founder and co-ceo, Steve Ells, is gay, makes this sh%t even more outrageous! Self-loathing much?!

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Mar 19, 2013 10:50:48 AM


  13. You are all looking at this the wrong way...what we should do is see this as an opportunity to "evangelize". What I mean is ask Chipotle to create special wrappers, boxes, etc., what have a pro-gay, pro-inclusion (perhaps anti-bullying) message. Should be age-appropriate, etc., but it's a great way to get the message across.

    Posted by: Wasted Money | Mar 19, 2013 10:52:35 AM


  14. I can't get too worked up about them giving food to kids. The kids aren't the ones with the bad policy. Yeah, I know, it supports BSA, but... you know... kids.

    Posted by: John Conolley | Mar 19, 2013 10:53:55 AM


  15. "Food with integrity"... what a joke. It's obvious that they have no integrity at all and are willing to throw the LGBT community under the bus if it allows them to sell more burritos. What's next, a taco stand outside Westboro Baptist Church? I hope they get a lot of new business in Utah because they just lost a LOT of it outside of Utah. You can't say you don't support something if you give money to it. That's ludicrous. Bye bye Chipotle.

    Posted by: Peter M. | Mar 19, 2013 10:55:56 AM


  16. @ DOUGH :

    You should post more. I agreed totally with what you say.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 19, 2013 10:59:34 AM


  17. Eh....that should be "Doug".

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 19, 2013 11:00:06 AM


  18. It's just food! Get over it, you downers. It isn't double standards, and those of you who think it is, need to wake up. Kill them with kindness, bitches, with kindness.

    Posted by: K. Tol | Mar 19, 2013 11:02:33 AM


  19. Money talks and BS walks. Their food is second rate faux-Mexican anyway, so I don't really eat there.

    Posted by: Jack M | Mar 19, 2013 11:02:44 AM


  20. I trust that chipotle and their gay CEO know what they are doing and their motives are good.

    Posted by: UrbanMike | Mar 19, 2013 11:03:08 AM


  21. So following your own company policies is just an optional thing? I was somehow under the impression that companies develop a set of policies specifically to inform themselves of the way they ought to handle themselves. Recognizing that they are not following their own policies should be just the first step.

    Posted by: KML | Mar 19, 2013 11:06:32 AM


  22. I received this reply from Chris this morning:

    James --

    I appreciate your writing to us and your concern over this issue. Chipotle has a long history of connecting with customers through a variety of community groups around the country, including school groups, youth sports, pride events, music festivals, farmers' markets, and food festivals, among others. Our aim in doing this is to connect individually with people who are, or could be our customers. Our support of the Scout-o-Rama event in Salt Lake (which is limited to providing coupons to volunteers and participants) is an effort to connect with a group of individuals (in this case the scouts themselves) and was not intended to be any kind of endorsement of any Boy Scout policies.

    Chris

    Posted by: PicassoPC | Mar 19, 2013 11:09:09 AM


  23. I wrote to Chris Arnold yesterday and got a response filled with similar doublespeak. Chipotle pays lip service to equality and inclusion, but their actions speak differently. You can't support such an event without endorsing it. I was told that scouting was popular in that community so it was a good target for grassroots brand expansion. Who will they feed when they want to expand into Alabama?

    Posted by: Shayne | Mar 19, 2013 11:15:40 AM


  24. The thing that bugs me about this "But what about the CHILDREN?!" approach to the BSA, basically saying that they don't want to penalize the Scouts themselves for the Organizations policies, is that many of these kids are fully on board with the BSA's homophobia.

    Sure it's because they've been brainwashed from birth by their parents and religions (it's no accident this is being held in Salt Lake City) but that's why those "kids" SHOULD suffer consequences for the policies of an organization they support. How else are they going to learn about the policy, that there is much opposition to it, and that it DOES have consequences for themselves?

    Otherwise they just continue on, blissfully unaware of exactly what it is that they're participating in.

    And the Mormon Church takes in about 8 BILLION dollars a year in MANDATORY tithes. If they want to turn the BSA into the Moroni Scouts they can by-god foot the bill for the food!

    Posted by: Caliban | Mar 19, 2013 11:18:19 AM


  25. I say every local pride committee needs to ask its local Chipotle for exactly the same support, even if it is nothing more than coupons!

    Posted by: jpeckjr | Mar 19, 2013 11:21:45 AM


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