Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has been a strong supporter of the Boy Scouts of America for many years. However, the company is making some news late Friday when it announced that it will pull its support of the organization, citing the group’s policies of prohibiting gay Scouts and leaders from being in or joining the organization.
The Boy Scouts made their policy public several years ago, and ever since then, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has gotten a lot of attention from a group called Scouts for Equality, which has been campaigning against Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and others who were significant corporate donors. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) CEO Randall Stephenson is a member of the Boy Scouts’ board of directors, and has led a push to try to get the organization to change its policy.
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) was one of the largest holdouts among contributors, as it gave $700,000 to the organization in 2010. In a statement released by the company, Intel chief diversity officer Rosalind Hudnell said, “Due to significant growth in the number of organizations funded, earlier this year we revisited our policies associated with the program, and applied new rigor that requires any organization to confirm that it adheres to Intel’s anti-discrimination policy in order to receive funding.”
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has had an anti-discrimination policy in place where it would not contribute to any organization that espoused any discriminatory policy, which is consistent with its own company policy regarding its employees.
“Companies and CEOs are joining with thousands of Eagle Scouts, and hundreds of thousands of other Americans calling for an end to discrimination in the Boy Scouts of America,” said Zach Wahls of Scouts for Equality. “Until the BSA removes this hurtful policy that is inconsistent with its own principles, companies that strive for workplace freedom must reconsider their financial backing.”
Clearly, one company just did. When this news gets out, it will be interesting to see how investors – like hedge-fund manager Ken Fisher of Fisher Asset Management – see Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), and whether this boycott of the Boy Scouts will help the stock and the company’s image.