By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com December 11 2012 1:03 PM ET
Pharmaceutical company Merck has dropped its donor affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America, pending the century-old organization start admitting openly gay troops and leaders.
The move was part of an initiative headed by activist Zach Wahls to encourage companies to stop funding the BSA until it changes its policy barring gay members. A statement from the company says that the Boy Scouts' policy "directly conflicts with the Merck Foundation's giving guidelines. The foundation re-evaluated funding for the BSA when the organization restated its policy that excludes members on the basis of sexual orientation. Merck Foundation has notified the BSA of this decision."
The BSA restated their stance on gay members after Jennifer Tyrrell, a den leader from Ohio, was removed from her son's Cub Scout Pack for being a lesbian.
The Merck Foundation added that its leaders will continue to evaluate all of its donor partnerships for the coming year.
Merck is the maker of HIV drug Isentress, in addition to dozens of other medicines and vaccines.
Other companies to end funding to the BSA include Verizon, and UPS, while the CEOS of Ernst & Young and AT&T have urged the Boy Scouts to end their ban.