Boy Scouts of America board member in Ohio resigns due to anti-gay policy

David J. Sims says removal of lesbian den mother Jennifer Tyrrell 'is wholly discriminatory'

Boy Scouts of America board member in Ohio resigns due to anti-gay policy
30 April 2012

A member of the Board of Directors of the Ohio River Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) as resigned from the board because of its decision to kick den leader Jennifer Tyrrell out of the organization because she is a lesbian.

David J. Sims said he has a long history of support for BSA but feels the anti-gay  policy is not something he can condone.

'Ms. Tyrrell's removal goes against my fundamental beliefs of how we should treat our fellow human beings and is, in my opinion, wholly discriminatory,' Sims wrote in an April 27 letter. 'I understand that the Boys Scouts of America is free to run its organization as it sees fit, however, I cannot formally be a part of it based upon this policy.'

Sims added: 'My grandfather was an Eagle scout, my father was an Eagle scout and I am an Eagle Scout. Other than his family and his Christian faith, the most important thing in my father’s life was the Boy Scouts. The lived and breathed scouting. That is what makes this decision so exceedingly difficult and emotional. However, I know that my father would support my decision.'

Tyrrell had served as a den leader for nearly a year before she was ousted two weeks ago. She said the revocation of her membership came shortly after she was elected treasurer of my pack and uncovered some inconsistencies in the pack's finances.

She told Gay Star News at the GLAAD Media Awards on April 21 that she had been upfront from day one about her sexuality and it had not been an issue.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) had reached out to the Boy Scouts last week with an offer to facilitate meeting between BSA and Tyrrell but the organization refused.

The BSA said in a statement to CNN that its mission 'does not include teaching young people about sex or sexual orientation, and we do not believe it is Scouting's role to introduce this topic in our youth development program.'

Tyrrell has launched a petition on Change.org calling the scouts to end its pattern of discrimination against both gay youth and LGBT families. It has been signed by more than 250,000 people so far.

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