Chipotle has canceled its planned sponsorship of a Utah Boy Scout event over controversy surrounding the Boy Scouts of America's ban on gay leaders and scouts.
The Tex-Mex fast-food giant was originally slated to provide food coupons for the influential Great Salt Lake Council's Utah Scout-O-Rama fundraiser in May, reports The Salt Lake Tribune.
As word spread about the Chipotle sponsorship, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocates pressed the company on its decision, which seemed to go against its policy of not supporting "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."
At first, Chipotle seemed to be sticking to its guns. Towleroad published an email evidently sent to a reader by a Chipotle customer service consultant, who said that the restaurant disliked the Scout's policy towards LGBT members, but that the company was going ahead with the sponsorship in order to "support the children in the Scouts in Utah, many of whom are fans and customers of ours."
Chipotle had previously held a March 3 event in the Salt Lake area offering free Chipotle items to scouts in uniform.
The apparent corporate contradiction was addressed by company spokesman Chris Arnold, who told ThinkProgress Monday that "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."
As pressure continued to mount, Chipotle reversed course.
Arnold on Tuesday followed up with ThinkProgress and said that the company had decided to terminate sponsorship of the upcoming event:
As I mentioned yesterday, community support decisions like this are made in a decentralized way and this one was inconsistent with our own policy. We believed that terminating the sponsorship and remaining consistent with our policy was the right thing to do, and we have reinforced our policy with the team that makes these decisions to try to prevent similar issues in the future.
Calls are growing louder for the Boy Scouts to end its LGBT policies. Recently, both Train and Carly Rae Jepson announced they will not be headlining the closing stadium show at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree in July.