The Boy Scouts of America are more than welcome to discriminate against lesbian parents and gay parents and members, but that does not mean it is a good idea. The BSA has complained of late about losing membership. Rather than trying to keep up with the times and opening membership and leadership to LGBT Americans, they have tried to do things like offering merit badges in selecting video games.
An incident in Ohio has caused GLAAD to issue this statement:
GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today joined Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell in calling on the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to change a discriminatory policy that prohibits LGBT people from serving as troop den leaders.
For more information: http://glaad.org/equalityscouts
Bridgeport, Ohio resident Jennifer Tyrrell was told that she would no longer be able to serve as a den leader of her son’s Cub Scout chapter on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 by the District Councilmember. In response, parents and scouts from the troop have planned a peaceful protest outside of the local BSA chapter on the evening of Tuesday, April 17, 2012 to show support for Tyrrell.
Tyrrell, who served as a den leader for more than a year after registering her son for the Boy Scouts, has launched a Change.org petition calling on BSA to end its pattern of discrimination against LGBT people. GLAAD is encouraging supporters to join Tyrrell’s action here: http://www.glaad.org/equalityscouts
“The Boy Scouts of America is one of the only cultural institutions to categorically discriminate against LGBT Americans,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “Sending the message to America’s youth that they or their parents are somehow less than everyone else is dangerous, inaccurate and should be changed immediately.”
BSA has a long history of discriminating against both gay youth and LGBT families. Most notably, in 2004 the BSA adopted a new Youth Leadership policy which strips Boy Scout leaders of their positions in the organization and often denies them access to the organization all together. Just last year, the BSA removed an out lesbian from her volunteer post with a local Potomac Falls, VA chapter because of her sexual orientation (as reported on news outlets including Towleroad). None of BSA’s various websites currently contain non-discrimination policies with enumerated protected classes.
Tyrrell wrote on Change.org: “There was an outcry of support for me by the parents of my Tiger Scouts, many of whom waited for hours to voice their concerns to members of the council and the pack’s charter organization, but were turned away without the opportunity to do so.”
“Lesbian and gay parents have proven themselves time and time again to be dedicated, caring, and trustworthy Scout leaders and volunteers, as evidenced by Jennifer and many others who have served in welcoming local Scout groups,” said Dana Rudolph, founder and publisher of popular LGBT parenting blog Mombian. “It is shameful that the Boy Scouts have chosen to stigmatize Jennifer’s son by not letting his parents participate in the same way as those of his peers.”