(Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images)
MARIETTA, Ga. -- The Lockheed Martin Corp. is ending its relationship with the Boy Scouts of America because the group does not allow gay Scout leaders, company officials told the Marietta Daily Journal.
"While we applaud the mission of the Boy Scouts and the good things they do in our communities, their policies that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and religious affiliation conflict with Lockheed Martin policies," said Lockheed spokesman Gordon Johndroe.
The reference to "religious affiliation" has to do with the Boy Scouts' ban on atheist members.
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Lockheed spokesman Johnny Whitaker said that because BSA policies "do not align" with the defense contractor's, Lockheed "will withdraw all official, company-sanctioned support from the Boy Scouts of America, effective January 1, 2014."
Discontinued are: monetary contributions, company-sponsored employee activities with the Scouts such as facility tours, on-site Scouting activities and events, service on the Atlanta Council's executive board and employee volunteer activities on company time.
Marietta's plant contributed about $25,000 to metro Atlanta-area Scouting activities
and programs this year. The employee-giving fund called the LM AERO Club contributed another $30,000 this year, Whitaker said.
BSA's National Council over the summer approved a resolution to remove the restriction that denied membership to boys if they openly identified as gay. The decision prompted several area churches to end relationships with the organization.
Lockheed's Johndroe said the Scouts' summer decision was a step in the right direction, but didn't go far enough.
"We were pleased to see the organization revise its membership policy, but feel the continued ban on gay leadership conflicts with our corporation's values," he said.
(Atlanta Business Chronicle)