GLAAD President Herndon Graddick joined Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin last week and wrote an op-ed for the Dallas Morning News criticizing the Boy Scouts of America for maintaining its ban on gay scouts and LGBT leaders. The piece came after Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell delivered over 300,000 signatures to the Boy Scouts' headquarters calling for an end to the ban.
In their piece, Graddick and Griffin point out how the Boy Scouts' discriminatory policies affect young people:
This discriminatory policy does nothing more than hurt young people and perpetuates the false notion that being gay is wrong. At a time when America is moving in the direction of acceptance and inclusion, the BSA is upholding a practice of exclusion, even though it says “helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible and productive society.”
Not only is inclusion the right policy, it is one that other organizations have found successful. Girl Scouts of the USA has a policy that prohibits discriminatory treatment of any kind, including on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It has been a year since the military’s discriminatory “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was repealed, and leaders will tell you there hasn’t been a negative impact. And 99 percent of American companies scored as part of the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index have sexual orientation nondiscrimination protections, including 86 percent of all Fortune 500 companies. And now most Christian denominations and many other faith traditions accept LGBT people in worship with them.