Time Magazine published an article covering the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) vote whether to drop the ban on gay members, which is this Thursday. The reporter, Elizabeth Dias, covered the work of GLAAD, Change.org, and Scouts for Equality (SFE), as well as anti-gay organizations like the Family Research Council and OnMyHonor.net, who are working to keep the discriminatory ban in place.
Dias takes time in her piece to cover the work by the opposition, whose extreme anti-gay rhetoric around the Boy Scouts has not gotten as much media attention. One example:
Another scout in the webcast raised concerns that accepting gay scouts would increase unwanted gay sexual activity in scout programs. 'On a campout, you are in a tent and it is closed off to the outside world,' he said. 'Me, at 11 or 12, having my buddy come on to me, I wouldn’t have known what to do at that age, especially if it were an older scout who I look up to.' Another Eagle Scout argued that a scout must be 'clean,' according to scout law, and "Homosexual acts are not considered clean."
Dias covers the work done by Zach Wahls, LGBT activist and Eagle Scout, with SFE, the organization of Scouts, former Scouts, and LGBT allies working to help push the BSA forward on issues of discrimination. She also covers the work GLAAD has done in getting media attention to the Change.org petitions of people like Jennifer Tyrrell, who was ousted from her son's Cub Scout pack for being gay.
The piece also makes note of the many religious organizations who support fully inclusive policies. She highlights GLAAD's work in the area of religion and faith, as it pertains to Scouting:
GLAAD has also targeted faith communities, which represent over 70% of the chartered organizations that sponsor scouting troops across the country. Ross Murray, who leads GLAAD’s faith outreach, sent email blasts this weekend to over 3,000 people—many of whom are heads of religious organizations—asking them to have conversations about the ban with at least five people during their religious services’ coffee hours this weekend. “We are not trying to change worship—it is Pentecost Sunday—but let’s have some targeted conversations about why [repealing the ban] is the faithful thing to do,” he explains.
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 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.