Heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar has cut funding to Boy Scouts of America because the organisation discriminates against homosexuals.
A spokesperson for the Illinois-based Caterpillar explained the move wasn’t directly related to the recent Boy Scouts decision to continue to exclude homosexual adults from roles within the organisation, while on the other hand allowing the participation of openly gay children, Washington Post reports.
Company spokesperson Rachel Potts said the Boy Scouts’ policy that continues to bar homosexual adults from working in the organisation is “discriminatory.”
“We have inclusive policies here at Caterpillar Inc., and the foundation abides by those,” she said.
“We just don’t feel that our two organisations align.”
Caterpillar has previously made donations to the Boy Scouts of America, and the company said “if there’s a change in the Boy Scouts’ policies, we would certainly consider a change in the future grants — if there was a change that aligned with what our non-discrimination policies are.”
A Boy Scouts spokesperson said the decision is disappointing.
“Although, we are disappointed in this decision we believe Caterpillar is a great company and appreciate all it has done for the youth in local communities,” public relations director Deron Smith said.
Boy Scouts last month decided to allow openly homosexual children to be scouts, a decision which saw a number of churches around the US cut ties.
But the continued barring of homosexual adult leaders has seen several companies withdraw financial support.
Zach Wahls, executive director of Iowa City, Iowa-based Scouts for Equality, said Caterpillar’s decision reflects a broader shift in cultural attitudes.
“This isn’t a crazy, progressive company that’s super liberal,” Wahls said.
“(Caterpillar is) very much a middle-American company and I think this indicates where middle America is moving on this issue.”