Nearly 300,000 Americans Sign Petition to Call on the Boy Scouts of America to End Ban on Gay Scouts and Scout Leaders
California Assembly Votes on Resolution Calling for Inclusive Policies that Girl Scouts of America, 4-H Club and Boys & Girls Club Currently Have Adopted
New York, NY, May 11, 2011 – Today Change.org and GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, launched a Mother's Day campaign in support of Jennifer Tyrrell, a mother of four from Bridgeport, Ohio who was ousted from the Boy Scouts of America because she is gay. The BSA currently bans LGBT scouts and scout leaders.
Over 275,000 Americans have joined Tyrrell's Change.org petition (http://change.org/scouts) calling on the BSA reinstate to her as a scout leader and end its ban. GLAAD is asking supporters and allies to tweet using hashtag #scoutsforall and take action at http://glaad.org/mothersday.
Celebrities including Julianne Moore, Max Adler (Glee), Fran Drescher, Perez Hilton, Lisa Lampanelli, Micah Jesse, Jane Leeves, Sean Maher, Kelly Osbourne, Darryl Stephens and Rita Wilson today tweeted after Josh Hutcherson, Kim Wayans, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, as well as Max Adler and Grant Gustin of Glee previously showed support for Tyrrell at the GLAAD Media Awards. Additional names below and here: http://www.glaad.org/mothersday
California lawmakers on Tuesday voted on a measure pushing the BSA to adopt more LGBT-friendly policies, The L.A. Times reported on Tuesday. After voting down 3-7 a measure that would have honored the Scouts on the group's 102nd anniversary, the CA Assembly Judiciary Committee passed a resolution that honors the organization while urging the Scouts "to accept for membership and leadership positions all qualified boys and men, without discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or religious belief."
After being told on April 12, 2012 that she could no longer serve as her son's scout leader, Jen has inspired national support for the BSA to end the ban. David J. Sims resigned as a member of the Board of Directors of the Ohio River Valley Council of BSA following the decision, saying that it went against his "fundamental beliefs of how we should treat our fellow human beings and is, in my opinion, wholly discriminatory." For more information: http://www.glaad.org/blog/boy-scouts-america-board-member-resigns-support-gay-ohio-mom
Among those opposed to the ban on LGBT scouts is Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who said in a 1994 video:"I believe that the Boy Scouts of America does a wonderful service for this country. I support the right of the Boy Scouts of America to decide what it wants to do on that issue. I feel that all people should be able to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation." Video of Romney's remarks is available is available at http://www.glaad.org/blog/republican-presidential-candidate-mitt-romney-gay-people-should-be-able-serve-boy-scouts
A video of Jen sharing her story at the GLAAD Media Awards is available here: http://youtube.com/glaad. Celebrities including Josh Hutcherson, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Max Adler (Glee), Grant Gustin (Glee), Benicio del Toro, Chaz Bono, Tabatha Coffey, Mark Deklin (GCB), Trevor Donovon (90210), Laura san Giacomo, LZ Granderson, Joshua Jackson, Gilles Marini, Kyle Richards (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), Miriam Shor (GCB), Hudson Taylor, Lisa VanderPump (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), and Kim Wayans (Pariah) showed support for Jennifer's campaign at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards.
"With so many Americans spanning race, political and faith traditions speaking out against the discriminatory policy, how can the Boy Scouts of America continue to ignore our requests to meet and discuss this policy?" said Tyrrell. "By keeping this policy, the Boy Scouts of America are hurting young children and teaching them that discrimination is okay."
"By refusing to treat LGBT scouts and scout leaders with dignity and respect and by ignoring Jen's calls for a meeting, the BSA is working in direct opposition to the values-based leadership training which is at the root of scouting."
Among service organizations, the Boy Scouts are increasingly isolating themselves with their prohibition on gay youth and leaders. Organizations including the Girl Scouts of America, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as well as the 4H Club all welcome gay kids as well as adult leaders. And just this month, the president of the James Beard Foundation announced that she would rescind her acceptance of the Boy Scouts' Distinguished Citizen Award, noting the Scouts' policy prohibiting gay people from service and leadership.