Thank Pharmaceutical Company for Condemning Homophobia

Target: Brian Grill, Vice President of the Merck Company Foundation

Goal: Thank the Merck Foundation for pulling funding from the Boy Scouts until its discriminatory membership practices are revised.

Despite an enormous public outcry, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has still refused to reverse its discriminatory anti-gay membership policies. However, as its funding sources continue to dry up, the Boy Scouts might be forced to re-examine its stance on gay scouts. Thank the Merck Foundation for doing the right thing and withholding funding from the Boy Scouts until its policies have been revised.

The Merck Foundation is the charitable foundation of Merck, a $48 billion pharmaceutical company with approximately 84,000 employees worldwide. In 2011, the foundation gave $30,000 to the Boy Scouts. After news of the Boy Scouts’ discriminatory practices became common knowledge, however, Merck reassessed its relationship with the organization. It has now resolved not only to withhold funding from the Boy Scouts, but to also reevaluate its other funding recipients to make sure their aims are in line with Merck’s corporate values.

In a letter published at Scouts for Equality, Merck Foundation Vice President Brian Grill acknowledged “the fine work that the BSA has done in communities throughout the country” but explained that Merck “cannot continue to provide support to an organization with a policy that is contrary to one of [its] core beliefs.” He added that the foundation was “ready and willing to re-consider” its stance should the Boy Scouts amend their policies to be inclusive of gay scouts.

The Merck Foundation’s refusal to support the Boy Scouts is an important step forward in the fight for equality. Sign the petition and thank Merck for taking a stand in favor of equal rights and inclusivity for all.


Dear Mr. Grill,

I am writing to thank you for pulling Merck Foundation funding from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

As you know, the BSA has come under fire recently for its discriminatory membership policies. In this day and age, it is saddening that an organization built on principles of hard work and cooperation is still so narrow-minded in terms of what constitutes “acceptable” membership. The exclusion of gay scouts is truly regrettable.

What is inspiring, however, is how companies and foundations like yours have taken a stand. Thanks to you, the BSA is learning that discriminatory membership practices are unacceptable. And, in continuing to review other funding recipients, your company is setting an important standard for all organizations, hopefully setting the stage for a world that stands together against discrimination in all its forms.

Thank you for helping in the fight for equality.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Benson Kua via Flickr

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