- (Photo: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)
A couple weeks after a major Tex-Mex fast food chain opted to remove its support from a Boy Scouts event over the group's national ban on gay members, a spokesman says the business stands by its decision.
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., which had previously been a supporter of the Utah chapter of the Boy Scouts, decided to remove its support for the upcoming "Scout-O-Rama" event in May.
Chris Arnold, communications director for Chipotle, told The Christian Post Friday that the Boy Scouts' national policy against gay membership go contrary to the stated policies of the fast food company.
"We support a wide variety of community groups in cities all over the country including school programs, youth sports, pride events, music festivals, farmers markets, and the like," said Arnold.
"While the Boy Scouts of America is absolutely entitled to whatever policies it wants for the governance of its organization, our policies don't allow us to support them."
On March 3, Chipotle did run a special coupon event for Salt Lake City-area Boy Scouts, offering free meals to any Scout who came to a Chipotle restaurant in uniform.
When asked by CP if Chipotle, like the leadership of Starbucks, considered something like same-sex marriage to be a "core value" of its ethos, Arnold declined to comment.
Last month, Chipotle decided to back out of sponsoring a major Boy Scouts event in Utah known as the "Scout-O-Rama" fundraiser in May. Originally, the fast food chain was going to provide food coupons.
According to The Huffington Post, Chipotle's reversal of opinion came due to the pressure of several LGBT advocates who claimed that involvement in the BSA event conflicted with the chain's message of not supporting "organizations that discriminate against a person or a group on the basis of age, political affiliation, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation or religious belief."
Chipotle's former support for Scout-O-Rama would be filled by Winger's Roadhouse Grill. Two days after Chipotle announced its decision, Wingers released a statement from spokesman Curt Gray regarding its decision to step in. Wingers announced it would also be supporting Utah Pride's Queer Prom.
"Winger's Roadhouse Grill is committed to making our communities a better place to live and work. We recognize and appreciate the diversity that exists in our communities, and believe that diversity, and the a their cceptance of diversity, is what makes us great," said Gray.
Chipotle's decision comes as the Boy Scouts of America continue to mull over the possibility of changing its national policy regarding openly gay members and scout leaders.