Last Updated:November 28 @ 05:03 pm

Chipotle pulls sponsorship of Utah Boy Scout event

By Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY - Chipotle Mexican Grill has pulled its sponsorship of Utah's "Scout-O-Rama" because of the Boy Scouts of America's long-standing ban on gays.

The popular Colorado-based restaurant chain initially signed on to provide about $4,200 worth of coupons to the Utah Boy Scouts' annual event, scheduled for May 4 in a Salt Lake City suburb. The Boy Scouts' Great Salt Lake Council is one of the largest in the country, with the majority of troops sponsored by Mormon churches.

Chipotle's anti-discrimination policy states that the company shouldn't support organizations that exclude based on sexual orientation. When company leaders found out about the promise to offer coupons, they nixed the idea, Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said.

"It was never our intention for this to be this some kind of an endorsement of broader Boy Scout policies," said Arnold, adding that the company sponsors community events across the country to make connections with residents.

"Ultimately, we decided that the right thing to do was to remain consistent with our policy and terminate the sponsorship," Arnold said.

The rescission of the offer was first reported by Think

The Chipotle decision comes as the Boy Scouts of America's national executive board ponders a proposal to move away from its no-gays membership policy or a local option that would give the decision to the individual troops.

In late January, Boy Scouts of America leaders announced the proposal. But the organization's national executive board decided a week later that it needed to more time to make the crucial decision, pushing the vote back until May.

Nationally, some companies have had trouble squaring their own in-house anti-discrimination policies with the Scouts' gay ban. Several of those, including Intel and 3M, withdrew their financial support for the national Scouts, but continued to direct funds to troops - like one in St. Paul, Minn. - that have publicly opposed the ban and refused to eject gay Scouts or parents.

Earlier this month, the Scouts distributed a questionnaire to 1.1 million adult Scouts that used fictional situations to discern where Scouting's membership falls on questions of homosexuality, gays camping with children and gays in church leadership. It allowed adult Scouts to indicate a range of feelings, from strong support to strong opposition to the ban on gays. The Scouts haven't said whether they will distribute the results of that survey. Some individual councils also sent out their own questionnaires.

Chipotle, which has four restaurants in the Salt Lake City area, has sponsored past Utah Scout-O-Ramas and will be watching to see how the vote goes in May, Arnold said.

Leaders in the Boy Scouts' Great Salt Lake Council and Mormon church officials applauded the February decision by the Scouts to take more time to make the decision.

The Utah Scout's council is one of the largest in the country, with 5,500 troops and 73,400 youth members. Boy Scouts is an integral part of Mormon culture in Utah. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sponsors 99 percent of the Scout troops in the Salt Lake City area.

Nationally, the Mormon church has more Boy Scouts than any other denomination, with 37,000 troops and 420,000 youth members, according to figures from the Boy Scouts of America.

Rick Barnes, executive of the Boy Scouts' Great Salt Lake Council in the Salt Lake City area, said he understands Chipotle's decision. Sponsorship for the May 4 Scout-O-Rama remains strong even without the restaurant's coupons. They have $65,000 in sponsorship now, a figure that includes cash donations and coupons. That's about average for the event, Barnes said.

"If that's what they need to, we respect that," Barnes said. "The show will go on."

The annual event plays host to 15,000-20,000 scouts and their family members, Barnes said. There is a pinewood derby and a host of other activities including an indoor zip line, BB gun range and an ice tower.

The Mormon church continues to teach its members that marriage is only between a man and a woman and that same-sex relationships are sinful. But, in December, the LDS church launched a website encouraging members to be more compassionate in discussions about homosexuality. The website instructs Mormons to be loving and respectful toward gays and lesbians, while appealing to gay and lesbian Mormons to stay in the church.

Barnes said the upcoming vote is a hot topic among scout leaders and families in Utah. The Scouts' future in Utah hinges on it, he said.

"It all depends on how it turns out," Barnes said.


Associated Press writer Nigel Duara in Portland, Ore., contributed to this report.

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.

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  1. Scruffy-USN-RetiredComment by kerryp
    March 20, 2013 @ 6:26 am

    LGBT’s are not a race, color, ethnicity, nationality, religion or gender. It is a sexual perverted disgraceful lifestyle.
    It is better to be man condemned for standing up for your morals and values.
    Than to be on your knees bowing down to the whims of the corrupt and immoral.

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    Rating: 4.7/5 (86 votes cast)
    • snattlerakeComment by snattlerake
      March 20, 2013 @ 8:59 am

      They just lost this customer…

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    • whynot66Comment by whynot66
      March 20, 2013 @ 9:10 am

      Exactly snattlerake, BSA should NEVER give up the ideology that has been their mainstay from the beginning. If Chipotle pulls, everyone who believes in the moral code of behavior should quit supporting Chipotle (PERIOD).

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    • guitarbruceComment by guitarbruce
      March 20, 2013 @ 11:04 am

      I’d be curious to know if Chipotle’s anti-discrimination policy states anything about religious discrimination.

      It’s a natural result, that given differing viewpoints on anything, if a concrete stand is taken on a subject it will be contrary to another validly held viewpoint. In this case, it looks like Chipotle is choosing which group to discriminate against. They chose against a genuine religious viewpoint. One that has been in place for a long time.

      Their stand that they don’t discriminate is therefore disingenuous. They’ve merely made a judgement WHO they are going to discriminate against.

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    • bowler1hatComment by bowler1hat
      March 20, 2013 @ 11:36 am

      From one PO1 to another, you are absolutely right it is absolutely NOT an honest and real protected right! This is a destructive behavior that liberals have nitpicked and tearfully justify in their minds for a world where everyone loves everybody.

      With transgendered as an exception, LGBT is akin to drug abuse, alcoholism, gambling and sexual addiction. It is personal choice, sexual or other abuse and inability to cope with rejection from the “choice” opposite gender that brings them into this abberant behavior. An they reject the daily opportunity to stand on their own two feet and fight back against even through the extreme difficult paths they must take.

      Most all of us have people of our own gender who we have strong feelings about and most of us don’t expect more than a handshake or occasional hug to express the unity we feel in our hearts!

      As for Chipotle, anyone who turns their backs on the growth and development of sound minds, sound bodies and sound character, just doesn’t care about growing children in the first place. Good Mexican food is extremely rare here in New England, but if I lived in Colorado and had only two choices for Mexican food, I’d rather eat from a can.

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    • skopiiComment by skopii
      March 20, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

      Anti Civil Rights and anti Human Rights! In reality that’s what lgbt is, against Civilization; they don’t reproduce. They’re also anti Human Rights, again they don’t reproduce. They lie when they claim Civil or Human Rights, lgbt speak with forked tongue. They don’t have family values, because they don’t have families. What they do have is lust, greed, hate, anger, and ego. Left unto themselves, they would cease to exist, just like Chipotle, left unto itself, it will cease to exist. Good riddance. I believe the solution to our problem, is to “Vote Incumbents Out!” Thank you.

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    • aretiredgiComment by aretiredgi
      March 20, 2013 @ 11:33 pm

      Never been in one of their establishments, and guess they don’t need me in the future. All decisions in life should be this easy.

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  2. CharieComment by Charie
    March 20, 2013 @ 8:53 am

    Does this boil down to money or principles? I cannot conceive of the Boy Scouts backing down on their stance. It has nothing to do with hate, as so many militants would have you believe, it’s simple good sense.

    Proximity is all! Think about it!

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    • CharlieComment by vietnamvet
      March 20, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

      This boils down to sexual deviant groups threatening Chipotle with ‘activism’ if they don’t pull their support of the Boy Scouts. The Scouts have lost support from some major donors for the same reason.

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    • michiganrebComment by michiganreb
      March 20, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

      If chipolte don’t like it pack your **** and takere it and go back to mexico. Tex Mex retaurants are a dime a dozen and most are better anyway.

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    • vevaComment by veva
      March 20, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

      I was thinking of going to a Chipotle, and then I read this! That decided it for me. All of this toleration for everyone – except if they hold a belief other than yours! Wonder what the beliefs of our Native Americans are? Does anyone care? We KNOW what Muslims believe, and no one is attacking THEM!

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    • BobinmsComment by Bobinms
      March 20, 2013 @ 5:57 pm

      With Chipotle, you can bet it’s money. Chipotle’s stock was going great guns, profits were great and everybody was wondering about their business model and cost controls. Well, it turns out the secret was that Chipotle’s labor force was illegal aliens. They were raided by ICE.

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  3. whynot66Comment by whynot66
    March 20, 2013 @ 9:17 am

    It’s understandable by Chipotle in their pulling out support of the BSA; they are the progressives supporter, believing in open boarders and the ideology of this administration. It’s too bad there is no therapy for the progressives and their Ilk.

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  4. capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
    March 20, 2013 @ 9:19 am

    they are breaking ground on a chipotle in my town,wont be patronizing them….at all.

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    • missellieComment by missellie
      March 20, 2013 @ 10:10 am

      I logged in to the website of the Great Salt Lake Council and made a donation….God Bless them for standing strong!

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  5. way2coolComment by way2cool
    March 20, 2013 @ 9:39 am

    BSA, stand your ground for the principles, moral code of conduct and your oath! NEVER compromise your values as you and the BSA will quickly face your demise. As for Chipotle, they can have their opinions voiced as loudly as they choose, after all there is still the 1st Amendment Rights…for now…and we get to choose whether or not to patronize them. My choice: NOT

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    • bna42Comment by bna42
      March 20, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

      “Chipotle’s anti-discrimination policy states that the company shouldn’t support organizations that exclude based on sexual orientation”.

      Another company that I will refuse to do business with.

      Actually since the homosexual community is a small minority of the population, all the companies that align with this group are discriminating against the majority.

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  6. Mort_fComment by Mort_f
    March 20, 2013 @ 9:56 am

    Had, past tense, considered trying Chipotle’s fare. I guess I will stick with Chick-Fil-A. Their food is excellent, their service is great, and best that they receive my patronage. One does have a choice when spending one’s money.

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  7. Jack ReacherComment by Jack Reacher
    March 20, 2013 @ 10:07 am

    If the food is no better than the last time I ate at a Chipotle’s then they’re doing a great service by giving consumers a reason to go somewhere else.

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  8. srfhouseComment by srfhouse
    March 20, 2013 @ 10:22 am

    As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) and an avid scouter I am sad to see that Chipotle has turned it’s back on one of the last organizations to stand firm in it’s commitment to morality where young men are honor bound to “To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”

    As for the mormon church launching a “new web site” (URL omitted) – I serve in a position of some importance in my LDS ward and have never heard anything about a “new” website. However, such a message would certainly be consistent and not a surprise, as never in my life, as a member of the church have I ever heard anything other than love and kindness towards Gays and lesbians being taught.

    I am worried about the boy scouts. it has been a great part of my life and the lives of my two eagle scout boys. It will not be the loss of sponsorships from progressive companies like Chipotle that will pave the way to its demise, it will be the departure from the principals upon which it was founded that will cause it to crumble.

    God Bless America

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  9. craig4truthComment by craig4truth
    March 20, 2013 @ 10:30 am

    The gay lifestyle is immoral,unhealthy, and destructive. Numerous scientific studies have shown the debilitating effect in all health indicators. The gay movement with SSM push have wreaked havoc on the younger generation. The CDC in their 2010 report declared an epidemic rise of HIV/AIDS among the youth in the gay population and accompanying dramatic surge of STD’s.
    One has only to look at BSA abuse file where homosexual pedophiles and pederasts ( defilers of young males) are filled with them. It is a published fact that gay literature abounds with themes of romantic man/boy attachment and graphic
    sexual exploitation of the young victim.

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    • BobinmsComment by Bobinms
      March 20, 2013 @ 6:18 pm

      With same sex marriage, reproduction should be minimal and like the shakers (religious group that didn’t believe in sex) this group of voters will die out.

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  10. haroldl10Comment by haroldl10
    March 20, 2013 @ 10:41 am

    Rest in peace Chipotle, I guess the destruction of a country comes when the solid patriots become overwhelmed by assorted weird minorities.

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  11. lesmooreComment by lesmoore
    March 20, 2013 @ 10:59 am

    Hmm….I didn’t realize Chipotle served up hatred and bigotry along with tacos. I can find better places to eat!

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  12. jenerseaComment by jenersea
    March 20, 2013 @ 2:06 pm

    I guess Chipotle will sign on with that great homosexual youth group NAMBLA now when they have their summer recruiting drive in Colorado. Sick sex acts are the rallying cries these days of when men will call evil good and good evil. I look to see all the NAMBLA banners blowing in the wind out in front of their restaurants.

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  13. wallybluComment by wallyblu
    March 20, 2013 @ 2:14 pm

    The officers of Chipotle should be fired. What a cooperate decision cater to 10% of your customers and really PO 50%.

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    • burningmanComment by burningman
      March 20, 2013 @ 5:48 pm

      Make that 2% and 50%.

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  14. burningmanComment by burningman
    March 20, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

    I think everybody should send them a comment and tell they what you think and that they just lost your business.

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  15. twspears144Comment by twspears144
    March 21, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

    A new wave of tyrany is sweeping this nation it is called withdrawing support for traditional organization like the BSA. I am confident the BSA can overcome these assults by corperations like ATT&T and Chipotle. Is it the right of business’s to blackmail such a great organization such as the BSA to change a time honored tradition of moral integrity that has stood for 103 years? Many business’s like Chipotle run the risk of backlash by its customers and deserve the loss of customers for their stand of discrimination against the BSA standards and policies. The citizens of this nation will have no choice but to make a statement and refused to patronize these business’s for their lack of integrity for the traditions of the BSA . You can not cure discrimination by discriminating as a form to promote change in Americas values that the BSA has long supported. It is sad that immorality has raised its ugly head to undo all the great traditions that America stands for. The BSA depends on donations to continue its role to maintain a program that has long lasting values for the youth of America. I have complete confidence in the American people to find away to finance the BSA and its role as the leading youth program in America. Trenton

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  16. juicyfruit56Comment by juicyfruit56
    March 21, 2013 @ 6:57 pm

    Those who believe that men marry women and women marry men should boycott Chipotle Grill. As for the gays. If they are so bent on being scouts then start a group called Gay Scouts for America. It’s as simple as that. But keep the heck out of a group that is heterosexual.

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  17. shmilyComment by shmily
    July 31, 2013 @ 4:45 pm

    If Chipotle Mexican Grill wants to support the homosexual lobby they should start their OWN Boy Scouts. Instead, they support the theft of one that exits and seek to insert their own philosophy. That’s why they took down the Ten Commandments – one of them said THOU SHALT NOT STEAL!

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