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:
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.
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?