Read Ohio Boy Scout Mom Jennifer Tyrrell's Letter to Local Scout Council

Ohio River Valley Council
Boy Scouts of America
Attn: Paul Tucker, President
 
Dear Mr. Tucker:
 
I write today to urge the Ohio River Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to join the growing number of troops from all across the nation that have rejected the BSA’s ban on gay scouts and lesbian, and gay scout leaders.

After serving for nearly a year as den leader of my 7 year-old son Cruz’s Cub Scouts troop in Bridgeport, Ohio, in April of this year I was forced to abandon my duties, my position and – most devastatingly – my scouts, simply because I’m gay.
 
Cruz said to me just a few days ago that he wants to join scouts again. He really enjoyed building cars for the Pinewood Derby and learning new things with his friends. He also said that he doesn’t want to join if I’m not allowed to be there, because - although he is young – Cruz knows that it’s wrong to discriminate against people because they are different.  
 
Among the troops that accept leaders and scouts who happen to be gay:
 
The Baden-Powell Council
Binghamton, NY

The Boys Scouts Boston Minuteman Council
Boston, MA

Connecticut Yankee Council
New Haven, CT

Connecticut Rivers Council
Hartford, CT
 
Green Mountain Council
Vermont

Narragansett Council
Rhode Island

The Northern Star Council
Minnesota and Wisconsin

Piedmont Council
Piedmont, CA

Santa Clara County Council
San Jose, CA

Seneca Waterways Council
Rochester, NY

Troop 500
Amherst, MA

Troop 1
Minnesota

Troop 79
Marblehead, MA

Troop 729
New York, NY
 
Cub Scout Pack 30
Berkeley, CA
 
Cub Scout Pack 24
Redlands, CA

(See a map of all the BSA Councils that welcome all scouts and families here)
 
Although the press has profiled these troops, the BSA has not taken any disciplinary action or spoken out against them.

Over 330,000 people have joined me in calling for an end to the ban on gay scouts by signing an online petition. One of them was one of your own Board of Directors, who resigned from that body in a stand against the BSA’s “wholly discriminatory” policies.

I have appeared on national news outlets like CNN, The New York Times and MSNBC to talk about how important scouting is and how disappointed Cruz and all of my scouting parents are that I can no longer participate.

My story prompted members of the BSA National Board of Directors, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and Ernst & Young Chairman James Turley, to express their opposition to the ban, as well as their resolve to see it overturned. Even President Barack Obama and his Republican opponent Mitt Romney have spoken out against the BSA’s long history of discrimination, both saying they disagree with the ban.  
 
Change is happening. More and more troops are allowing every committed scout or leader for who they are despite the national ban.
 
Today, I call on the Ohio River Valley Council to join those troops by permitting me to apply to be Cruz’s den leader of Pack 109 or to meet with my son and I in-person.
 
It’s not a matter of if this policy will come to an end; it’s a matter of when. The Ohio River Valley Council should follow the Scout Law -- which challenges every scout to be courteous, kind and brave – and which have made the Boy Scouts such an important organization in our culture today.
 
Sincerely,
 
Jennifer Tyrrell
Pack 109, Ohio River Valley Council
Boy Scouts of America
 

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See Jennifer and her family deliver 300,000 signatures to the Boy Scouts of America

Read more about Jennifer and her work with GLAAD to overturn this discriminatory ban

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