Ohio mom steps up campaign against Boy Scouts of America anti-gay rules

Jennifer Tyrrell: 'This movement doesn’t stop because 11 anonymous men behind closed doors made a decision to keep discrimination in place'

Ohio mom steps up campaign against Boy Scouts of America anti-gay rules
18 July 2012

Ousted lesbian den leader Jennifer Tyrrell showed up as Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Dallas, Texas, Wednesday (18 July) to deliver more than 300,000 petition signatures calling for an end to the organization’s anti-gay policy.

Her delivery comes a day after the BSA announced that after two years  of consideration by an 11-person committee, the Scouts will continue to ban gay members.

‘This movement doesn’t stop because 11 anonymous men behind closed doors made a decision to keep discrimination in place,’ Tyrrell said. ‘This petition may have started out for me and my son, but it’s grown into something much bigger.’

She said the comments on the petition include the stories of literally thousands of scouts, scout leaders and former scouts ‘who are hoping the Boy Scouts of America will take this moment and end this policy of discrimination against gay Americans.’

The BSA’s announcement came on the heels of another widely-publicized case: Kansas City-area Eagle Scout Eric Jones was fired this week from his job as a counselor at a scout camp after coming out to the camp director on Sunday (15 July).

‘The real people impacted by this ban are gay young adults who are forced to hide who they are as well as the children of gay parents who are denied an opportunity to participate their children’s lives,’ Herndon Graddick, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. ‘By standing behind this ban, the Boy Scouts of America are contributing to a climate that promotes the bullying of gay young people and putting parents in a place where they are forced to explain to their children why some scouts and hard-working scout leaders are not welcomed in the organization. Discrimination is not a value that should be associated with scouting.’

Also Wednesday, Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout who became famous when his video in support of his two gay moms went viral on YouTube, began a petition on Change.org that urges the BSA of allow its board to vote on the anti-gay policy instead of leaving the decision up to an anonymous 11-member committee.

Wahls explains that days after he delivered nearly 300,000 petition signatures to the Boy Scouts’ annual convention, a resolution was introduced that could allow openly gay scouts and leaders for the first time in the history of the BSA.

‘But instead of allowing that resolution to be voted on by the executive board, the BSA instead decided to maintain their anti-gay ban without a vote. Because a secret committee said so,’ he explains in the petition.

Wahls adds: ‘What’s most disappointing is the secretive nature surrounding how this ‘decision’ was reached. The very first value of the Scout Law is that a Scout is trustworthy. There is absolutely nothing trustworthy about unelected and unnamed committee members who are unwilling to take responsibility for their actions.’

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Trans Brits give politicians their top two demands

Groups and individuals have joined together to fight for trans equality in the UK
No thumbnail available

US United Church of Christ signs on to sponsor Gay Games 9

The LGBTI affirming American United Church of Christ has signed on to be one of the official sponsors of this year’s Gay Games taking place in the Ohio cities of Cleveland and Akron in August
No thumbnail available

Minnesota governor signs anti-bullying bill that covers LGBT students

'Nobody in this state or this nation should have to feel bad about themselves for being who they are'
No thumbnail available

Saturday Night Live Korea apologizes for 'homosexual nurse' skit

Presenters apologize to nurses, not to gay men, for stereotyped and offensive portrayal in 'homosexual nurse' skit
No thumbnail available

Fatboy Slim joins Freemasons at Brighton Pride

Weapon of Choice chart-topper to get pride partygoers' blood pumping at UK city's annual LGBT festival
No thumbnail available

Gay Britain needs a different future to austerity

Peter Purton explains why UK government cut backs are hitting LGBT people and calls on gay complacency to end
No thumbnail available

A Hollywood first? Openly gay star replaces openly gay star in movie

Cheyenne Jackson takes place of Sean Hayes in 6 Dance Lessons In 6 Weeks
No thumbnail available

Response to anti gay marriage ad recorded

Australian campaign group Get Up record response to anti gay marriage ad as a ‘message of hope’
No thumbnail available

US Supreme Court refuses to halt gay marriages in Oregon

Request by National Organization for Marriage is rejected in terse one-sentence order
No thumbnail available

Israel: PM candidate visits gay club and promises marriage for everyone

Tzipi Livni could become one of two rotating premiers if her coalition wins