TV icon and former Boy Scout George Takei will join Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell and GLAAD at the NYC Pride march this Sunday in a stand against the Boy Scouts' anti-gay policies, NY Daily News' Carson Griffith exclusively reported today.
Tyrrell, who was ousted as leader of her son's Boy Scouts troop earlier this year because she's gay, has collected over 300,000 signatures in opposition to the ban through her Change.org petition calling on the Boy Scouts of America to end its long history of discrimination.
Walking with Takei and Tyrrell -- who will be wearing their Scouts uniforms -- will be local troops, who also oppose the ban on gay scouts and LGBT leaders, as well as dozens of volunteers donning American Apparel tees that read 'GAY O.K.' GLAAD partnered with American Apparel on the new shirts, released in conjunction with LGBT Pride month. George's husband Brad, and Tyrrell's partner Alicia will also be on hand at the march.
Takei, formerly a member of Boy Scouts Troop 379, later served as a spokesperson for the Scouts and even received awards from the BSA in recognition of his leadership.
“Some of my best memories from my boyhood are of my scouting days,” says Takei. “I played bass bugle in our troop’s drum and bugle corps. We marched in Fourth of July parades. We learned teamwork and brotherhood from camping together. The Boy Scouts built my character. As an adult, I was shocked and deeply disappointed to learn that the Scouts discriminate against LGBT people. This is contrary to the ideals of equality and fair play that I hold dear. The Boy Scouts must change.”
Last week, Ernst & Young Global Chairman and CEO James Turley, who also sits on the Board of the Boy Scouts of America, issued a statement in opposition to the ban on gay scouts and scout leaders, saying he would work within the organization to change the policy:
“Ernst & Young is proud to have such a strong record in LGBT inclusiveness. As CEO, I know that having an inclusive culture produces the best results, is the right thing for our people and makes us a better organization. My experience has led me to believe that an inclusive environment is important throughout our society and I am proud to be a leader on this issue. I support the meaningful work of the Boy Scouts in preparing young people for adventure, leadership, learning and service, however the membership policy is not one I would personally endorse. As I have done in leading Ernst & Young to being a most inclusive organization, I intend to continue to work from within the BSA Board to actively encourage dialogue and sustainable progress.”
Ricky Martin, Julianne Moore, Josh Hutcherson, Dianna Agron and Perez Hilton are among just a few of the other notables who have shown their support for Jennifer and her family. To add your name to the petition, visit www.glaad.org/scouts.