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LGBT and allied organizations call for equality in Scouting

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LGBT and allied organizations across the country are speaking up for equality in Scouting, as 1,400 Boy Scouts of America (BSA) voting members in Dallas vote today on making Scouting more inclusive. The results are expected at 5pm CDT today.

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. Since that time, more and more organizations have been speaking out in favor for equality.

GLAAD has been working with Scouting organizations like the Inclusive Scouting Network and Scouts for Equality for several months to overturn the ban on gay scouts and leaders. To date, 1.8 million people have signed Change.org petitions, calling on the Scouts to overturn the discriminatory ban.

Other supporting organizations represent the diversity of the LGBT movement, all calling for inclusion in Scouting.

Several state equality organizations have signed on, including Equality Florida, Equality Hawaii, Equality Maryland, Equality Ohio, Equality Pennsylvania, Equality Virginia, Forum For Equality Louisiana, and MassEquality. Local LGBT organizations, like PROMO in St. Louis have spoken out, as well as CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers.

70% of Boy Scout troops are sponsored by congregations or faith-based organizations. Several faith-based organizations have supported the campaign to lift the ban. Supporters include Catholic organizations like DignityUSA, Equally Blessed, and the Reformed Catholic Church. The Jewish organization Keshet has also signed on, as has Integrity USA, the Episcopal LGBT advocacy group. The Religious Institute, which advocates for faithful voices in sexuality and religion, has spoken out. And the denominations of Metropolitan Community Churches and the United Church of Christ.

National organizations have also joined GLAAD to call for inclusive Scouting. The Equality Federation, HRC, Media Matters, and the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund have mobilized their members, as well as the ally group Straight But Not Narrow.

GLAAD is thankful for all the organizations who have spoken up for equality in Scouting. You can view the whole list at www.glaad.org/scouts/supporters. If you would like to add your organization to the list, visit http://www.glaad.org/scouts/partners to sign up.

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 original 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.

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