Board member of the Ohio River Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), David J. Sims, announced his resignation on Friday in support of Jennifer Tyrrell, the Ohio mother who was ousted as scout leader of her 7-year-old son's Boy Scouts troop because she's gay. Read Sims' letter to the BSA below.
Jen's Change.org petition calling on the BSA to end its long history of discrimination against LGBT scouts and leaders now boasts over a quarter million signatures.
Last week, GLAAD drew attention to a 1994 video, in which Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney stated that "all people should be able to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation." In a statement released today, Jen Tyrrell called on President Obama to weigh in on the BSA's discriminatory policy.
Below is the letter of resignation sent by David J. Sims to the Ohio River Valley Council of the BSA:
April 27, 2012
Ohio River Valley Council
Boy Scouts of America
Attn: Bob Drury
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I write to you today to inform you that I am resigning as a member of the Board of Directors of the Ohio River Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Yesterday, after receiving the email from Paul Tucker, I first learned the story of Jennifer Tyrrell, the den leader for Pack 109's Tiger Scouts in Bridgeport, Ohio, who was removed as leader solely due to her sexual orientation. I understand that this action was taken as a result of a standing policy of the Boy Scouts of America and that said action is legal. However, 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. I understand that the Boys Scouts of America is free to run its organization as it sees fit, however, I can not formally be a part of it based upon this policy.
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.
Best wishes to you, Ohio River Valley Council and the Boy Scouts of America in future endeavors. I hope that the powers that be will look into their hearts and find the wisdom and courage to re-examine the policies of the Boy Scouts of America.
David J. Sims
Please sign Jennifer's petition now at http://change.org/scouts