Update: Chipotle announced it won't provide $4,200 worth of coupons for Utah's Scout-O-Rama because of the Boy Scouts of America's long-standing ban on gays.
Despite clearly stating it doesn’t support anti-gay groups, Chipotle Mexican Grill will knowingly sponsor a Boy Scouts of America event in order to reach more customers.
A Chipotle spokesperson said the company’s support is limited to giving out coupons for “volunteers and participants” at Scout-O-Rama, an annual fundraising gala for the Great Salt Lake Council, the largest BSA chapter in the country and one of the main advocates against the inclusion of gays, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
According to the Utah newspaper, contributions to the BSA council have dropped from $70,000 to $8,000 in light of the negative publicity due to the Scouts views on gay members.
“In Salt Lake, the Scouting institution is very strong, and it is our chance to connect with customers in that community,” Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold told the Tribune, noting that the company “would like to see” the BSA “in a place that’s more inclusive than where they are now.”
Chipotle’s contributions to the BSA go against the company’s nondiscrimination policies. Charitable giving policies for the Mexican restaurant state that the company “will not support organizations that discriminate against a person or a group on the basis of age, political affiliation, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation or religious belief.”
Arnold told Think Progress he agreed sponsoring the event would be against company policies but say they are moving ahead with it anyway.
“Our intention in doing that isn’t to endorse the policies of those groups, but rather to reach individuals (in this case the scouts themselves) through groups that are important in a given community,” he said.
“That being said, this decision is not consistent with our own values, and we have used this opportunity to reinforce those values with the team that makes those decisions for us.”