A welcome exhortation within the Boy Scouts of America to join the 21st century came last week when national board member James Turley, the CEO of the accounting firm of Ernst & Young, said he does not “personally endorse” the organization’s anti-gay policies. “As a global CEO, I know that having an inclusive culture produces the best results,” his statement said.
The Boy Scouts’ powers of exclusion, entrenched by a 2000 US Supreme Court decision, are being challenged anew in a national petition drive sparked by the ouster of Jennifer Tyrrell, a lesbian Cub Scout leader from Ohio. At the recent Boy Scouts convention in Orlando, 275,000 petition signatures were presented by Zach Wahls, a 20-year-old Eagle Scout who is the son of a lesbian couple and whose speech last year before the Iowa legislature for same-sex marriage went viral. He said the organization is “risking its relevancy to this generation at a time when its moral leadership is needed the most.”