Vice President of Communications
Senior Manager of Communications
Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell ignited a national movement last year after she was let go as Den Leader of her son's Cub Scout pack because she is gay. Working with GLAAD, she started a Change.org petition demanding that she be reinstated, garnering more than 330,000 signatures. She led a second Change.org campaign asking the CEOs of Ernst & Young and AT&T, both of whom sit on the board of the Boy Scouts of America, to speak out against the organization’s ban on gay Scouts and leaders. Most recently, she’s petitioned the Boy Scouts to consider another proposal that would end the ban on gay adults, so she can continue Scouting with her son, Cruz. More: http://www.change.org/scouts
Kentucky father Greg Bourke, who has been partnered for 30 years and has two children involved in Scouting, launched his campaign on Change.org after he was removed from his role as Assistant Scoutmaster by the Lincoln Heritage Boy Scout Council because he is gay. Bourke was an awarded Boy Scouts leader and role model in Louisville. Since his removal, he’s received overwhelming support from Scouts, Scout leaders, Scout parents, and faith leaders. Last month, Bourke delivered more than 64,000 Change.org petition signatures urging United Way to denounce the BSA's anti-gay policy, and to urge local United Ways to withhold funding if the Boy Scouts do not lift their anti-gay ban at the May meeting. More: http://www.change.org/unitedwayfunding
Gay Eagle Scout Will Oliver, a self-proclaimed outdoorsman, launched a petition on Change.org urging the National Geographic Channel to condemn the Boy Scouts’ anti-gay policy after the Boy Scouts announced that National Geographic would be airing a new show called "Are You Tougher Than A Boy Scout?" National Geographic Channel premiered “Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?” this spring, a marketing move that BSA executives hope will make the Boy Scout brand more “cool” and relevant. But young people across the country, including Oliver, know that the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay Scouts and leaders keeps the brand stuck in the past. More: http://www.change.org/toughscouts
Pascal Tessier, a 16-year-old Boy Scout from Maryland perhaps has the most to gain (or lose) from Thursday’s historic vote. As an openly gay young person, Tessier’s Boy Scout council recently said that unless the ban on gay youth is lifted, Pascal would not be able to earn his Eagle award. So Pascal’s older brother, Lucien Tessier, launched a petition on Change.org urging their local council to vote to end the national anti-gay ban so his younger brother can earn his Eagle award, just like Lucien did. More: http://www.change.org/scoutbrothers
An Eagle Scout and son of two gay moms whose speech in support of marriage equality was YouTube’s most watched political video in 2011, Zach Wahls founded Scouts for Equality after delivering nearly 300,000 Change.org petition signatures to the Boy Scouts of America on behalf of Jennifer Tyrrell, a lesbian mom and den leader from Ohio who was removed from her 7-year-old’s Cub Scout Pack for being gay. In one year's time, Scouts for Equality has mobilized more than 6,500 Eagle Scouts across the country to help end the Boy Scouts national anti-gay policy. Wahls’ petitions on Change.org have convinced corporate donors of the Boy Scouts, including Intel and UPS, to withhold donations until the anti-gay policy is pulled. More: http://www.change.org/scoutsvote
Carol Clayton lives in Takoma Park, Maryland. Her son Adam, 14, has been in Scouting since Tiger Cubs, and is on track to earn his Eagle badge. She is very active in Adam's troop. Carol launched a petition on Change.org, asking the Capital Area Council to reject the anti-gay policy. She thinks the Boy Scouts' anti-gay policy is simply wrong. She wants to be a force that works for change within the Boy Scouts. More: https://www.change.org/petitions/national-capital-area-council-reject-the-boy-scouts-of-america-s-anti-gay-policy
Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer
The Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer is Executive of the Office for Health and Wholeness Advocacy of Wider Church Ministries in the national offices of the United Church of Christ (UCC), as well as, Executive Director of UCAN Inc, the United Church of Christ HIV & AIDS Network. Rev. Schuenemeyer provides leadership in U.S. and globally on HIV & AIDS and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender concerns. Mike was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 1984. He has led the organizing efforts for the UCC in repealing the ban on gay Scouts and leaders and is on the ground at the BSA meeting in Dallas.
Max Sullivan is a 15 year-old Boy Scout who lives with his Mormon family in Gillette, WY. He has been an outspoken critic of the ban on gay Scouts and leaders, stating he will leave the Boy Scouts if the organization continues its discriminatory policy. He has the support of his parents (his mother, Shan, is also available for interview), and the family had the support of their former church before they moved from Charlotte, NC to Wyoming.
James Dale had his membership in the Boy Scouts of America revoked after 12 years because his local newspaper disclosed his sexual orientation after an interview he took part in at a seminar on the health needs of lesbian and gay teenagers at the age of 19. His case, known today as Boy Scouts of America vs. Dale, reached the Supreme Court where a 5-4 vote decided that private organizations like the BSA may deny or revoke a gay person’s membership. He continues to be an LGBT advocate in New York City, where he lives.