TV Icon George Takei to join ousted Boy Scouts mom, GLAAD at New York City Pride

Local troops to march with former Scouts spokesperson Takei and Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell in show of support for ending anti-gay ban

Seth Adam
Senior Manager of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8018
adam@glaad.org

June 18, 2012

June 18, 2012, New York, NY – GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization today announced that T.V. icon and former Boy Scout George Takei will join Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell and GLAAD at the 43rd Annual LGBT Pride March in New York City on Sunday, June 24. NY Daily News exclusively broke the news on Monday.

More information is available here: http://www.glaad.org/blog/george-takei-take-stand-against-scouts-anti-gay-ban-glaad-jennifer-tyrrell-nyc-pride.

Tyrrell, who was ousted as leader of her son’s Boy Scouts troop in April because she’s gay, created a Change.org petition calling on the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to end its long history of discrimination against gay scouts and LGBT leaders. That petition has garnered nearly 300,000 signatures, as well as the support of celebrities including Ricky Martin, Julianne Moore, Josh Hutcherson, Dianna Agron, Perez Hilton, Kat Graham, Fran Drescher, Kelly Osbourne, Benicio Del Toro, and more.

“Some of my best memories from my boyhood are of my scouting days,” said Takei. “I played bass bugle in our troop’s drum and bugle corps. We marched in Fourth of July parades. We learned teamwork and brotherhood from camping together. The Boy Scouts built my character. As an adult, I was shocked and deeply disappointed to learn that the Scouts discriminate against LGBT people. This is contrary to the ideals of equality and fair play that I hold dear. The Boy Scouts must change.”

Takei, formerly a member of Boy Scouts Troop 379, later served as a spokesperson for the Scouts and even received awards from the BSA in recognition of his leadership. Video of Takei appearing in a PSA promoting the Boy Scouts is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmnLYVNO5EE

Takei will be joined by his husband Brad, and Tyrrell will be joined by her partner Alicia Burns. Also joining Takei, Tyrrell and GLAAD will be local Boy Scout troops calling for an end to the ban, as well as dozens of supporters, who will don new equality tees created by GLAAD and American Apparel and which read “GAY O.K.”

Earlier this month, the Boy Scouts of America confirmed that a new proposal was under review to end the ban on gay scouts and scout leaders as early as 2013. Just last week, James Turley, the Global Chairman & CEO of Ernst & Young who is also a Board member of the Boy Scouts of America, also issued a statement expressing his opposition to the ban on gay scouts and scout leaders.

“My experience has led me to believe that an inclusive environment is important throughout our society and I am proud to be a leader on this issue,” read Turley’s statement in part. “I support the meaningful work of the Boy Scouts in preparing young people for adventure, leadership, learning and service, however the membership policy is not one I would personally endorse. As I have done in leading Ernst & Young to being a most inclusive organization, I intend to continue to work from within the BSA Board to actively encourage dialogue and sustainable progress.”

“GLAAD is honored to have George Takei and his husband Brad join us and the hundreds of thousands of fair-minded Americans calling for an end to this outdated and discriminatory ban on gay scouts and leaders,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “It is time for the Boy Scouts of America to stop teaching discrimination and join organizations like the 4H Club, Boys & Girls Club and the Girl Scouts of the USA in accepting all its members.”

For information on how to join GLAAD, Takei and Tyrrell at the march, visit http://www.glaad.org/pride.