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Boy Scouts lose funding, support from Caterpillar

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Caterpillar Inc. is no longer giving money to the Boy Scouts because the organization discriminates against homosexuals, a spokeswoman for the Illinois-based heavy equipment manufacturer confirmed Thursday.

The company’s move wasn’t directly tied to the recent Boy Scouts decision to continue to bar homosexual adults from roles within the organization while allowing openly gay children to be scouts. Instead, the company decided to cut off funding while reviewing a request for $25,000 that came in last year from a local group in Illinois, spokeswoman Rachel Potts said.

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That decision was never announced publicly or communicated to the Boy Scouts of America, only to the local group, she said.

Caterpillar has made donations in the past to the Boy Scouts of America, and the company’s charitable arm, the Caterpillar Foundation, has donated money to local scouting groups in areas where it has factories and other facilities, Potts said.

‘‘We have inclusive policies here at Caterpillar Inc., and the foundation abides by those,’’ she said. ‘‘We just don’t feel that our two organizations align.’’

Boy Scouts spokesman Deron Smith called the decision a disappointment, and stressed that the group’s focus continues to be on delivering a youth program of “character development and values-based leadership training.”

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