Next week, 1400 members of the Boy Scouts' National Council will converge in Dallas for the organization's vote to decide whether or not to end the Scouts' ban on gay youth. GLAAD will be providing a variety of actions you can take to make a real difference on this issue leading up to the vote.
Now, more than ever, your voice can truly help contribute to the local opinion about why gay youth and parents should be able to participate in the Boy Scouts. We've already asked you to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, now it's time to talk one-on-one.
70% of Scouting troops are sponsored by churches, synagogues, and other faith-based organizations. More and more of these faith communities support inclusion for LGBT people. It makes sense that the place to enact change is at these places of worship.
Your challenge this weekend: Take it to the coffee hour.
Many places of worship have a coffee hour, or fellowship, or just people hanging out after the services to chat with one another. Chatting and conversation is a natural part of any faith community, no matter what it looks like. This is your time to share your belief that the Scouts should be open to all.
If you are planning to attend a place of worship this weekend, GLAAD is asking you to speak to five people about your hopes that the anti-gay ban is completely lifted for both adults and youth.
What should you talk about?
- First of all: LISTEN. Ask them what they think about the Boy Scouts' policy of excluding gay scouts and leaders
- Tell a personal story about being LGBT or an LGBT ally
- Tell why you care about lifting the ban on gay Scouts and gay parents as volunteers in Scouting
- If applicable, tell your experience with Scouting
- Ask them to pray throughout the week that the spirit of inclusion will rest upon the voting delegates at the Boy Scouts meeting
Real change of the heart and mind happens when people are able to talk and listen to one another. Perhaps someone hasn't thought about the Boy Scouts policy before, or feel like they don't know enough to make a decision. You might be that person that helps them to see that opening the scouts to all is the right thing to do.
Tell us how it went at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 (BSA) 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.