Tell Carly Rae Jepsen and Train to speak out against the Boy Scouts' anti-gay policy
GLAAD is working with Eagle Scout and former Boy Scout camp leader Derek Nance to call on musicians Carly Rae Jepsen and Train to denounce the Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) ban on gay scouts and scout leaders and call for a national policy of non-discrimination. Yesterday GLAAD and Eagle Scout Will Oliver renewed calls for the National Geographic Channel to air a disclaimer before the premiere of the new series Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout .
Jepsen and Train have been announced as performers at the BSA's 2013 National Scout Jamboree as the respective opening and closing show headliners. Both artists have also shown support for the LGBT community in the past, making their agreement to play a show for this anti-LGBT organization a surprise. Watch Jepsen's video inviting scouts to the Jamboree below.
Jepsen's music video for her 2012 breakout hit "Call Me Maybe" received national media attention for having a gay twist ending when the man she spent the song chasing ultimately gives his number to a male member of her band. When asked whether she supports marriage equality in an interview with TIME Jepsen said, "You know, acceptance has never been a question to me. I've grown up knowing it's just the way things should be. When we shot the 'Call Me Maybe' video, we weren't even thinking the ending was not normal. […] And if my video is encouraging that mind frame with other children and other people – well, it's about time, I guess!"
In August 2012, Train spoke out against a New Zealand-based anti-gay group, which used the band's hit single "Marry Me" in anti-marriage equality promotional materials. The band released a statement saying, "We take the idea of marriage very seriously, and believe it is the right of all consenting adults, regardless of sexual orientation. 'Marry Me' is about just that, finding that special love and making it last forever. Everyone should be allowed to have that."
Watch Train's video announcing their performance at the Jamboree below:
Nance was a program director at Mataguay Scout Ranch, who came out in an It Gets Better video posted on YouTube earlier this year. In the video, Nance speaks out against the BSA's anti-LGBT policies and says he knows "the time will come when LGBT scouts can openly serve on summer camp staff and participate in the Scouting program, but for now the most important thing we can do is talk about the issue." Nance cites the story of gay Eagle Scout Tim Griffin who was allegedly fired from his position at Camp Winton because of his orientation as the reason behind making the video.
20-year-old gay Eagle Scout Will Oliver is working with GLAAD to call on the National Geographic Channel to air a disclaimer before each episode of the network's new series Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout denouncing the BSA's ban on gay scouts and scout leaders. Oliver's Change.org petition has so far received more than 121,000 signatures, including Academy Award-winner and former Boy Scout Dustin Lance Black. On Monday, GLAAD and Oliver will deliver these signatures to the National Geographic Channel headquarters in Washington, D.C. and meet with network representatives to ask that they air the disclaimer with the six-episode series set to premiere March 4.
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 Change.org petition has attracted more than 341,000 signatures in support of ending the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay Scouts and leaders.
GLAAD and Scouts for Equality have also called attention to other Americans who are continuing to be harmed by the anti-gay policy, including 18 year-old gay Scout Ryan Andresen, who was denied his Eagle award in October 2012 because he’s gay. Ryan’s mom later launched a Change.org petition calling on the BSA to give Ryan the award he has earned. That petition now boasts over 473,000 signatures.
Join GLAAD and Derek Nance to urge Train and Carly Rae Jepsen to speak out against discrimination – sign Derek's Change.org petition here.