More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
After Boy Scouts maintain ban, Zach Wahls and other Eagle Scouts keep the pressure on
The Boy Scouts of America official Youth Protection policy states that there will be "No secret organizations. The Boy Scouts of America does not allow any secret organizations as part of its program. All aspects of the Scouting program are open to observation by parents and leaders." However, it appears they need a refresher on their own policies.
Following a secret committee's decision earlier this week to keep the Boy Scouts' ban on gay scouts and scout leaders, Eagle Scout Zach Wahls has launched a Change.org petition urging the Boy Scouts to allow its board members to vote to end the ban. In an op-ed in The Advocate, Zach writes,
Secret committees of 11 people do not and will not speak for more than 3 million scouts. Though the old guard at the BSA may be unwilling to change their position, we suspect that the young people actually involved with the organization all across the country will prove more thoughtful.
News broke Friday that Martin Cizmar, the arts and culture editor of Portland Oregon's Williamette Weekly, returned his Eagle Scout badge to the Boy Scouts this week in protest of the group's anti-gay policies. Cizmar wrote in a letter to the BSA,
I am not gay. However, I cannot in good conscious hold this badge as long as the BSA continues a policy of bigotry. Though I didn't know at the time, I was acquainted with a number fo gay scouts and scouters. They were all great men, loyal to the scout oath and motto
and helpful to the movement. There is no fair reason they should not be allowed to participate in scouting.
It is inevitable that the BSA will need to change its policy of intolerance. I believe the change will come soon. And the more we continue to speak out, the more we stand beside moms such as Jennifer, the more we demand that discrimination end, the sooner that "someday" will arrive.