Outspoken advocate, author and Eagle Scout, Zach Wahls, today delivered more than 275,000 signatures to the Boy Scouts of America at its National Annual Meeting in Florida, calling on the group to end its long history of anti-gay discrimination and reinstate Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell, who was forcibly removed as den leader of her son’s Boy Scouts troop because she’s gay.
After delivering the signatures, Wahls met briefly with Deron Smith, Public Relation Director with the Boy Scouts of America’s national office.
“While today's meeting was productive and thoughtful, the delivery of these petitions marks the beginning of this journey, not the end,” said Wahls. “I thought our dialogue today was an honest one, and I'm looking forward to continuing the conversation in the months ahead. We leave today one step closer to religious and personal freedom than when we arrived, and it's hard to be anything but thrilled about that."
This weekend, Zach will appear alongside Jennifer and her family at the GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco.
“I am so grateful for the support I’ve received from Zach and from the thousands of scouts, scout leaders and former scouts who have signed my petition,” said Tyrrell. “If you look at the petition comments, and read through the thousands of entries left by current scouts and scout leaders, it’s clear that the energy within the Boy Scouts of America’s membership is there to change this policy. All it takes now is leadership.”
Since launching her Change.org petition calling on the Scouts to end its long history of discrimination, Jennifer has worked with GLAAD to share her story in national media, garnering support from celebrities including Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore, Ricky Martin, stars of Glee and more than a quarter million Americans. Actress and recording artist Kat Graham this week dedicated her musical performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to Tyrrell and gay scouts everywhere. Watch video below.
For more information on Jennifer's story, visit www.glaad.org/equalityscouts