Yesterday Chuck Norris, the 72-year-old former star of "Walker, Texas Ranger," wrote an anti-gay post criticizing James Turley, a member of the Boy Scouts of America's governing board and CEO of Ernst & Young, who has vowed to "work from within" to change the organization's policy of excluding gay scouts and scout leaders. This comes after the Boy Scouts of America announced for the first time that it will consider a resolution to end the ban.
The Huffington Post Gay Voices and Towleroad reported that Norris implied that President Obama and the White House may have “prodded [Turley] with perks and favors" in an effort to get him to speak out against the BSA.
Norris ignored the fact, however, that Republican candidate Mitt Romney spoke out in favor of allowing gay Americans to participate in the Boy Scouts of America in a 1994 debate when he stated:
“I believe that the Boy Scouts of America does a wonderful service for this country. I support the right of the Boy Scouts of America to decide what it wants to do on that issue. I feel that all people should be able to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation.”
James Turley spoke out in favor of changing the policy after Jennifer Tyrrell, who was ousted as leader of her son’s Boy Scouts troop in April because she’s gay, created a Change.org petition calling on the BSA to end its long history of discrimination against gay scouts and LGBT leaders. That Change.org petition has garnered nearly 300,000 signatures, as well as the support of celebrities including Ricky Martin, Julianne Moore, Josh Hutcherson, Dianna Agron, Perez Hilton, Kat Graham, Fran Drescher, Kelly Osbourne, Benicio Del Toro, and more.
Jennifer also spoke out against the ban by riding with TV icon and former Boy Scout George Takei, as well asGLAAD in the NYC Pride Parade just two days ago.
Today Jennifer Tyrrell responded to Chuck Norris’ post and called for him to meet with her family and other scouting families:
“Since I was ousted as a scout leader I have been flooded with support from local parents, scouts and hundreds of thousands of Americans. Chuck Norris is clearly out of touch and I’d like for him to sit down with my family and fellow scouting families who support us. My orientation wasn’t an issue in my son’s pack until the Boy Scouts made parents tell their children why their favorite den leader was no longer able to participate. With the U.S. military, the Girls Scouts of the USA, the 4-H Club and the Boys & Girls Club among organizations that allow gay Americans the time is now to end the ban.”
GLAAD also replied and spotlighted the large amount of support for ending the ban. GLAAD spokesperson Rich Ferraro stated:
“Chuck Norris should talk to Mitt Romney, who Norris endorsed for President and who has said on the record that all Americans should be able to participate in the Boy Scouts of America regardless of sexual orientation. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have recently signed a Change.org petition and called on an end to the ban including celebrities Josh Hutcherson, Benicio del Toro, Julianne Moore, Joshua Jackson, Kat Graham and Dianna Agron. Celebrities who support gay Americans are enjoying popular careers while Chuck Norris appears to be a fame-hungry has-been with poor research skills.”
Click here to sign Jennifer's petition and remember to show your support in the comments below!