Why Does the Walton Family Foundation Donate Every Year to Organization with Anti-LGBT Policies?

Revelation Comes on Heels of Growing Concern about Walmart and Walton Family and LGBT Community

We’ve written recently about Walmart’s poor track record with the LGBT community and with the Walton Family’s support for an anti-LGBT agenda. From company policies to family political contributions, a worrisome image of an anti-gay empire is emerging, concerns that were expanded on in a recent article in Out magazine.

As the richest family in the nation, the Walton Family has many avenues to exert their influence. One of the ways they do this is by funding organizations through the Walton Family Foundation. Their ties to one such organization—Christian missionary group Young Life—haven’t received the attention they deserve up until now. Young Life is a Christian missionary organization that has a specific prohibition on gays or lesbians serving as staff or volunteers with the organization.

Young Life’s staff manual reads, in part:

With regard to the delicate matter of homosexual lifestyle and practice, in the light of the biblical data regarding creation, Young Life believes such activities to be clearly not in accord with God’s creation purposes.

On the basis of these theological affirmations which flow from our understanding of the Scriptures, we therefore must state very clearly that Young Life staff members and volunteers shall not engage in sexual misconduct.

We do not in any way wish to exclude persons who engage in sexual misconduct or who practice a homosexual lifestyle from being recipients of ministry of God’s grace and mercy as expressed in Jesus Christ. We do, however, believe that such persons are not to serve as staff or volunteers in the mission and work of Young Life.

When did the Walton Family Foundation give to Young Life, you ask? Answer: Every single year, since 2002, according to our analysis of the Walton Family Foundation’s 990s. Why are the Waltons associating themselves with an organization that bars gays and lesbians from serving as volunteers and staff? If the Walton Family Foundation, a consistent donor, wanted to encourage Young Life to adopt a more inclusive policy, it seems likely they would listen.

To echo the words of Out magazine, “It’s time for the Walton family and the Walmart board to reconsider the importance of its LGBT employees and the LGBT market.”

What do you think?