US: Winger’s food chain to back both Boy Scouts and LGBT Prom to promote ‘diversity’
Several restaurants have stepped up to replace Chipotle as caterer for the Utah Scout-O-Rama, with one also pledging to fund a Queer Prom to balance out any controversy tied to the Scout’s ban on gay members.
Winger’s Roadhouse, Madeline’s Steakhouse and Utah Sports Lodge then pledged to replace Chipotle. Winger’s announced on the same day that it was giving an equivalent donation to the Utah Pride Centre’s Queer Prom.
Their spokesperson, Curt Gray, said in a statement on Friday that the restaurant wanted to promote diversity and acceptance.
“Winger’s Roadhouse Grill is committed to making our communities a better place to live and work. We recognize and appreciate the diversity that exists in our communities, and believe that diversity, and the acceptance of diversity, is what makes us great,” he said.
The Utah Pride Center’s executive, Valerie Larabee, said the restaurant chain had found “a way to recognize the needs of all youth” by backing both groups.
Rick Barnes of the Great Salt Lake Council, the area’s local Boy Scout authority, supported Winger’s backing of the Scout-O-Rama.
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Mr Barnes said:”We respect the LGBTQ community. They certainly have the right to live and associate the way they want. We have membership standards that are in place, and we ask that others respect those.”
“In essence, [BSA] have a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy right now,” he added.
The Boy Scouts have already lost funding from several large corporate donors, including UPS, back in November, who had given over $150,000 (£95,000) to the BSA, and Intel, another of the scouts’ largest donors, ceased funding back in September.