Jennifer Tyrrell, the Ohio mom ousted as leader of her 7-year-old son’s Boy Scouts troop because she’s gay, spoke with HLN’s Dr. Drew Pinsky last night, sharing her story and taking calls from viewers. Tyrrell’s Change.org petition calling on the Boy Scouts to end its long history of discrimination against LGBT scouts and scout leaders now boasts over a quarter million signatures.
“We need to judge people on their character and the job that they do,” said fellow parent Robert Dunn, whose son was in Tyrrell’s troop. “It’s completely ridiculous that [the Boy Scouts of America] made her resign when she did a much better job than the people that they had before. . . just because she’s gay does not mean she cannot do the job.” Dunn went on to say that not a single parent in the troop agreed with the BSA’s decision to forcibly remove Tyrrell.
Author and advocate Zach Wahls, whose YouTube video in support of his gay moms went viral in February 2011, also called in to offer his perspective as the son of two moms and a former Eagle Scout:
“The fact that the Boy Scouts have this policy on the books is not only discouraging, but quite frankly, disappointing,” said Wahls. “For a very long time, the Boy Scouts of America has been the preeminent leadership organization through which young men in this country have learned those values… and that they’re willing to deprive Jennifer’s son of that experience simply because his mother happens to be a lesbian, it’s sad really.”
Several viewers called in to the program to offer their support, though some agreed with the BSA’s decision to oust Tyrrell. One such caller likened being gay to being an alcoholic, a point Dr. Drew quickly shut down, calling the idea that sexual orientation is a choice “bizarre.”
Yesterday, it was announced that David J Sims, Board member of the Ohio River Valley Council of the BSA, tendered his resignation in support of Tyrrell. Wrote Sims, “Ms. Tyrrell’s removal goes against my fundamental beliefs of how we should treat our fellow human beings and is, in my opinion, wholly discriminatory.”