(Photo: Reuters/Ina Fassbender)
The Family Research Council recently decided to stop using the United Parcel Service (UPS) as its primary shipping vendor due to the company's decision to exclude the Boy Scouts of America from future funding because of the youth organization's anti-homosexuality policy.
"The Boy Scouts of America has for decades been a force for moral integrity and leadership in the United States. Sadly, their principled stances have marked them as a target for ridicule and harassment by organizations that disagree with their convictions," Tony Perkins, president of the FRC, a pro-family Christian group, said in a recent statement.
"The Scouts, unlike UPS, are about instilling character and leadership into America's boys. UPS, in the name of 'tolerance,' can't tolerate such efforts," Perkins went on. "UPS has the right to fund the organizations it chooses. It's unfortunate that they've chosen to ship America's next generation of leaders to the curb.
"FRC also has the right to do business with companies that are not hostile to traditional values; therefore, we informed UPS that we will take our business (which is equivalent to the amount they are directing away from the Boy Scouts) elsewhere."
Media reports indicate that UPS chose to stop funding the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) after an online petition on Change.org garnered 83,000 signatures urging the postal service to stop sponsorship.
The parcel delivery company announced in Nov. 2012 that it would be withdrawing corporate sponsorship from the BSA, saying at the time that it requires groups applying for foundation grants to practice the same anti-discrimination standards as its company.
"We promote an environment of diversity and inclusion," UPS spokeswoman Kristen Petrella told The Associated Press in November.
"UPS is a company that does the right things for the right reasons," she added.
Although the Boy Scouts contemplated changing its policy during a two-year-long review process, the organization ultimately chose to keep its original policy regarding open homosexuality within the Scouts.
"The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers, and at the appropriate time and in the right setting," Bob Mazzuca, chief scout executive of Boy Scouts of America, said in a statement at the time of their decision in July.
The Boy Scouts of America, which is one of the largest and also one of the oldest nonprofit youth organizations in the U.S., states in its policy:
"While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA."
Whilet the FRC has stated that the amount of business it will be taking away from UPS is equivalent to the amount of funding UPS severed from the Boy Scouts, the pro-family organization has not indicated which primary package distributor it will use in lieu of UPS.