Urge Verizon to Take a Stand Against Homophobia

Target: Lowell C. McAdam, Verizon Chairman and CEO

Goal: Urge Verizon to withdraw financial support from the Boy Scouts until the organization has amended its anti-gay policies.

For many boys in America, scouting has been a defining and character-building experience. However, the Boy Scouts of America has come under fire recently for its explicit discrimination against gay children and adults. Urge Verizon, one of many companies that financially supports the Boy Scouts, to pull its funding until the organization reverses its illogical, harmful, and hateful anti-gay stance.

The Boy Scouts’ homophobic position largely came to light in the wake of a sex abuse scandal, which the organization has used as a justification for its discriminatory membership policies. The Family Research Council, a designated hate group, defends the Boy Scouts’ decision, making the offensive and inaccurate argument that the ban on gay members prevents child molestation. (Apparently, the Family Research Council holds the misguided belief that homosexuality and pedophilia are one and the same, despite the fact that most child molesters identify as heterosexual.)

Verizon’s policies make it clear that the company will not tolerate harassment or discrimination based on sexual orientation, which makes its support of the Boy Scouts something of an odd partnership. Other companies with similar anti-discrimination policies have already withdrawn their support of the Boy Scouts following public outcry. Urge Verizon to follow in the footsteps of companies like Intel and UPS and to pull their funding of the Boy Scouts–at least until it provides an atmosphere that encourages the safety, well-being, and inclusion of all of its members.

PETITION LETTER

Dear Mr. McAdam,

For many young men, the Boy Scouts constitutes a valuable and defining experience. For boys and young men who identify as gay, however, it can represent a cold and narrow-minded personal rejection. Please take a strong stance in favor of equality by withdrawing financial support from the Boy Scouts until the organization has revised its misguided and offensive anti-gay policies.

The Boy Scout’s discriminatory membership policies largely came to light after the organization was rocked by child sex abuse scandals. Groups such as the Family Research Council have argued that the Boy Scouts’ current policies are meant to protect children from sexual predators, but such arguments are problematic and offensive, as they assume that all homosexual men are pedophiles and vice-versa. Financial support of an organization that promotes this line of thinking is a tacit endorsement of hateful and inaccurate information.

Verizon’s company policy has done a wonderful job of emphasizing equal treatment of all employees, regardless of sexual orientation. Why undo this progress by continuing to support an organization that promotes backward, disrespectful, and downright inaccurate views on homosexuality? I urge you to take a stand for justice and inclusivity. Withdraw your financial support from the Boy Scouts until the organization extends its membership policies to be welcoming of all boys and young men, regardless of sexual orientation.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Ian S. via geograph

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