Today in Dallas, Texas, 1400 members of the Boy Scouts of America will vote on a resolution to end the Boy Scouts of America's ban on gay youth participating in Scouting. This morning out TV icon and former Boy Scout George Takei changed his Facebook profile picture to the Equality in Scouting badge and said "It's okay to be Takei in scouting." He also posted a longer message to his Facebook page calling on the BSA to "do the right thing."
GLAAD is on the ground in Texas as part of a year-long campaign to push for a national non-discrimination policy to end the ban on gay teens and adults participating in the Boy Scouts. GLAAD held a press conference yesterday with Scouts for Equality, Inclusive Scouting Network, and several Scouting families who launched Change.org petitions. Check out yesterday's live blog here.
Stand up for equality in the Boy Scouts - find out how you can help end the ban on gay scouts and leaders at http://glaad.org/scouts.
Last year, Takei joined Jennifer Tyrrell - the Ohio mom ousted as leader of her son's Boy Scout troop because she's gay – as well as GLAAD and local scouts at the 43rd Annual NYC Pride March in Manhattan.
“Some of my best memories from my boyhood are of my scouting days,” Takei told GLAAD. “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.”
GLAAD has worked to ensure that a long list of corporate partners, elected officials, religions and faith leaders, as well as celebrities have spoken out against the ban on gay Scouts and leaders. Celebrities such as Tegan and Sara, Jersey Shore's Snooki and Sammi, and GLAAD's Wilson Cruz tweeted their support over the last week.
Earlier this week, Dr. Phil tweeted out his support for equality in the Boy Scouts and a link to GLAAD's action page, as well as posting a longer message to his official Facebook page.
Madonna appeared in a Boy Scouts uniform at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York on March 16 and expressed her support for GLAAD's year-long campaign to end the BSA ban on gay scouts, saying "I think they should change their stupid rules, don't you?" Check out video of her remarks below.
Jennifer Tyrrell, a mother of four from Bridgeport, Ohio who was ousted from the BSA because she is gay, was shown support by celebrities including Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Benicio del Toro, Joshua Jackson, Max Adler and Grant Gustin (Glee), Chaz Bono, Tabatha Coffey, Mark Deklin, Miriam Shor, Trevor Donovon (90210), Laura San Giacomo, Kim Wayans (Pariah), Gilles Marini, LZ Granderson, Kyle Richards and Lisa VanderPump (The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards. Julianne Moore tweeted her support over Mother's Day in 2012.
GLAAD is encouraging people to stand up for inclusive scouting on Facebook and Twitter, sign the petition telling the BSA Council to vote to end the ban and pledge your support. Learn how you can help end the ban on gay scouts and leaders at glaad.org/scouts.
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 orginal Change.org petition has attracted more than 343,000 signatures in support of ending the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay Scouts and leaders. Tyrrell, together with GLAAD, has launched a new petition to urge the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to completely lift its anti-gay ban on both youth members and adult employees and volunteers. To take action on this issue please visit www.glaad.org/denmother. For more on GLAAD's work on this campaign, including a timeline of key events, visit www.glaad.org/scouts.