July 20, 2012
Zach Wahls: This week, the Boy Scouts of America made a huge national stir by affirming its anti-LGBT policy. That is to say, they made a huge national stir by doing nothing new. The only “new” thing about their announcement was the fact that they reached this “decision” by appointing a secret, 11-member subcommittee that “studied” this policy for “two years.” This committee, that had a “variety of beliefs” on this policy, somehow managed to reach a unanimous decision. Twice. According to conflicting reports from the BSA, they first presented their conclusion back in February of this year. Then they presented it (again?) on Tuesday. The timing of the BSA announcement, however, could not have been more politically expedient. On Monday, 24 hours earlier, the BSA learned that the vice president of their executive board, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, had gone on the record not only opposing their anti-LGBT policy, but also committing to work with fellow board member Jim Turley, Ernst & Young’s CEO, to end it. A few hours later, they learned that Jennifer Tyrrell — the gay den mother ousted from the Boy Scouts who rallied more than 300,000 people to sign her petition — planned to deliver those signatures to BSA’s Dallas headquarters on Wednesday.