Breaking: Carly Rae Jepsen withdraws from Boy Scout Jamboree over anti-gay ban

Recording artist Carly Rae Jepsen announced today that she will withdraw as headliner of the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, following a campaign launched by GLAAD and Eagle Scout Derek Nance, whose Change.org petition calling on the 'Call Me Maybe' star to denounce the Boy Scouts' ban on gay scouts and scout leaders has amassed over 62,000 signatures.

GLAAD has been leading a campaign with groups such as Scouts for Equality to call on the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to adopt a national non-discrimination policy that would end the BSA's practice of ejecting gay young people and adults.

On Friday, the Grammy Award-winning band Train announced that the group would only perform at the Scout Jamboree if the Boy Scouts' ends its ban on gay scouts and scout leaders.

Said Train:

When we booked this show for the Boy Scouts of America we were not aware of any policy barring openly gay people from participation within the organization. Train strongly opposes any kind of policy that questions the equality of any American citizen. We have always seen the BSA as a great and noble organization. We look forward to participating in the Jamboree this summer, as long as they make the right decision before then.

“No fair-minded media outlet, corporation or celebrity will want to partner with the BSA as long as the organization puts discrimination and anti-gay bias before the needs of young people,” said Rich Ferraro, GLAAD's VP of Communications. "GLAAD will continue to call for partners of the BSA to speak out against the anti-gay ban until the BSA puts Scouting first and adopts a national non-discrimination policy. Carly Rae Jepsen and Train's decisions not only send the right message to the BSA, but remind LGBT young people that they are supported and accepted."

"I came out as gay because I realized the best way to help end this dangerous policy is to stand up, speak out, and tell the organization I love to do the right thing," said Eagle Scout and former Boy Scout Camp leader Derek Nance, who launched his petition on Change.org. "A Scout is brave, and I'm thrilled that Carly Rae and Train have joined me in standing up for what is right. I hope the Boy Scouts of America also choose to be brave this May."

"In just four days, Eagle Scout Derek Nance recruited more than 62,000 supporters on Change.org, urging pop superstars Carly Rae Jepsen and Train to speak out against the Boy Scouts' anti-gay policy," said Mark Anthony Dingbaum, senior campaign manager at Change.org. "Imagine what one person can accomplish if given a laptop and a full five days?"

Jepsen and Train were announced as performers at the BSA's 2013 National Scout Jamboree as the respective opening and closing show headliners. Both artists have also shown support for the LGBT community in the past, making their agreement to play a show for this anti-LGBT organization a surprise.

Yesterday as part of GLAAD's campaign for the BSA to adopt a national non-discrimination policy, GLAAD and Eagle Scout Will Oliver delivered over 120,000 Change.org petition signatures to National Geographic Channel headquarters, calling on the network to add a disclaimer to its new series, Are You Tougher than a Boy Scout, denouncing the Boy Scouts' ban on gay scouts and scout leaders. The new series, produced in partnership with the Boy Scouts of America, debuted last night.

Following the petition delivery, GLAAD met with National Geographic Channel representatives, who agreed to publish a blog post by Eagle Scout Will Oliver, which spoke about the harms of the Scouts' discriminatory policy.

GLAAD first started calls for the Boy Scouts of America to end its ban on gay scouts and scout leaders in April 2012 after Jennifer Tyrrell, a mom and den leader from Ohio was removed from her 7-year-old’s Cub Scout Pack for being gay. Tyrrell’s Change.org petition has attracted more than 341,000 signatures in support of ending the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay Scouts and leaders.

GLAAD and Scouts for Equality have also called attention to other Americans who are continuing to be harmed by the anti-gay policy, including 18 year-old gay Scout Ryan Andresen, who was denied his Eagle award in October 2012 because he’s gay. Ryan’s mom later launched a Change.org petition calling on the BSA to give Ryan the award he has earned. That petition now boasts over 473,000 signatures.

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