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UPS Gets Thumbs Up, Wells Fargo Thumbs Down, For Boy Scouts Maneuvers

Two major American corporations are in the news for their recent actions regarding the Boy Scouts of America: UPS has announced it will no longer donate to the BSA until it rescinds its ban on gay members, while Wells Fargo has been criticized for a recent donation to the Scouts.

Shipping giant UPS said Thursday that its charitable foundation will no longer give money to the Boy Scouts of America so long as the group discriminates against gays scouts and leaders. The move comes after an online petition with more than 80,000 signatures called out the company on its support of the BSA.

“We promote an environment of diversity and inclusion. UPS is a company that does the right things for the right reasons,” said UPS spokeswoman Kristen Petrella on Monday. Last year, the UPS Foundation gave more than $85,000 to the Boy Scouts.

“Corporate America gets it better than most: policies that discriminate aren’t simply wrong, they’re bad for business and they’re hurting the scouting community,” said activist Zach Wahls, a nominee for the 2012 Queerties. “You would think that after all the Boy Scouts have lost as a result of this policy, they would understand that.”

On the flip side banking giant Wells Fargo, a major contributor to LGBT causes, is being taken to task for donating office furniture to the Boy Scouts of America’s Cradle of Liberty Council in Philadelphia.

According to a company spokesperson, though, the action was taken on the local level and should be considered in the larger scheme of things.

“Last year, Wells Fargo and its team members provided more than $213.5 million to 19,000 nonprofits across the country,” said James Baum. “Of that amount, more than $2.8 million was donated to nonprofits and other organizations serving the LGBT community.”

Baum added that “$462,000 was provided to local chapters of the Boy Scouts, so for every $1 Wells Fargo or a team member donated to the Scouts, Wells Fargo and Wells Fargo team members donated $6 to organizations that serve the LGBT community.”

Wells Fargo supports a wide array of gay organizations, including HRC, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the Point Foundation, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, and Philadelphia’s Equality Forum.

But according to some activists, that doesn’t cut it: “I think they’re evading the issue,” said R. Duane Perry, who led the fight to get Philadelphia to evict the Scouts from a city-owned community center.  “Substitute ‘Jews’ or any other minority group for LGBT… Say last year, for every $1 that Wells Fargo gave to organizations that discriminated against Jews, Wells Fargo gave $6 to Jewish organizations. Does that make the discrimination somehow all right?”

What do you think? Is Wells Fargo at fault or are activists like Perry not seeing the forest for the trees?