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Disney ending funding to Boy Scouts in 2015 over policy regarding gay leaders

Published: Thursday, July 30 2015 8:08 p.m. MDT

Walt Disney, seated front left, was among nine recipients of the highest Scouting award, the Silver Buffalo, at the Session on the Court of Honor of the National Councils of Boy Scouts of America in St. Louis on May 17, 1946. The Walt Disney Company will cut funding to the Boy Scouts of America beginning in 2015 because of a policy that bans gay adult leaders in the organization. (Associated Press) Walt Disney, seated front left, was among nine recipients of the highest Scouting award, the Silver Buffalo, at the Session on the Court of Honor of the National Councils of Boy Scouts of America in St. Louis on May 17, 1946. The Walt Disney Company will cut funding to the Boy Scouts of America beginning in 2015 because of a policy that bans gay adult leaders in the organization. (Associated Press)

LOS ANGELES — The Walt Disney Company will cut funding to the Boy Scouts of America beginning in 2015 because of a policy that bans gay adult leaders in the organization.

The Boy Scouts organization is "disappointed" by the decision, which will affect the organization's ability to serve children, Deron Smith, a Boy Scouts spokesman, said in a statement Sunday. Disney does not provide direct funding to the Boy Scouts, but it donates money to some troops in exchange for volunteer hours completed by Disney employees, he said.

"We believe every child deserves the opportunity to be a part of the Scouting experience and we are disappointed in this decision because it will impact our ability to serve kids," he said.

David Jefferson, chief spokesman for The Walt Disney Company, did not respond to calls or emails.

Disney's decision came to light after the president of a local Boy Scout council based in Orlando, Fla., where Disney World is based, sent a memo alerting local troops to the decision.

The memo was posted on the website of Scouts for Equality, an organization that is critical of the Boy Scouts' policy to ban adult gay troop leaders.

The Boy Scouts lifted a ban on gay youth last year.

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