SANDY, Utah – The Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America is holding its annual Scout-O-Rama fundraising event in Sandy.
Chipotle, one of their major sponsors, backed out of the event this year, citing conflicting policies on discrimination, specifically the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay members and leaders.
But organizers say they’ve had no problem replacing them with other sponsors. The council says Chipotle would have brought in about $4,200, and they’ve already managed to find more sponsors to make up for that lost money.
This year, there are 15 sponsors, made up of a combination of local businesses and anonymous donors. They say they’ve been able to raise as much as in past years, which is around $95,000.
Madeline’s Steakhouse is one of the local businesses who stepped in to sponsor the event when Chipotle backed out. Madeline’s owner Adam Wheaton says that they have a non-discrimination policy in place at their restaurant as well.
“I think what people do behind their own doors is their own business. Their rights end where mine begin and my rights end where theirs begin. So, I don’t push my values or morals on other people and I wouldn’t want them to push theirs on me,” he said.
Wheaton says he isn’t concerned that his views could differ from those of scouting members. As an Eagle Scout himself, Wheaton was happy to support the event.
There may be a policy change for the Boy Scouts and gay members coming. A proposal that would lift the ban on gay youth members – but not gay leaders – will go before about 1,400 voting members of the Boy Scouts’ national council at a meeting in Texas later this month.
Members of the Great Salt Lake Council make up about 15 percent of the voters at the national council.
For more on Saturday’s Scout-O-Rama at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, visit www.gslc-bsa.org.