On May 22 – 24, the Boy Scouts of America’s National Council will vote on a resolution that will allow gay youth to participate in the organization, but will maintain its ban on gay parents like me. I’m urging the Boy Scouts to consider a different resolution, like the one submitted by the Los Angeles Area Boy Scout Council, which would end the ban on gay youth and parents and allow me to continue Scouting with my son, Cruz.
My name is Jennifer Tyrrell. I am a devoted partner, mother, friend and community leader in Bridgeport, Ohio. I’m also a former Tiger Cub den leader with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). In April 2012, I was removed from this volunteer position, and my membership was revoked after nearly a year of service -– just because I happen to be gay.
No parent should ever have to look their children in the eyes and tell them their family isn’t good enough. But the Boy Scouts’ current proposal forces gay parents and adult leaders to do just that.
This is some of the language from the NEW change.org petition I am launching in partnership with Scouts For Equality. The BSA knows this proposal is simply NOT GOOD ENOUGH! Sign my petition now asking them to allow LGBT parents like me to participate in their children’s lives!
Discrimination is NEVER ok! Just because the BSA has the legal right to deny LGBT people membership, doesn’t mean that it is morally right.
The BSA’s history of discrimination:
Segregated public schools were declared unconstitutional in 1954 by a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, but the Boy Scouts of America included racially segregated units as late as 1974. It took the BSA 20 years to catch up to society in regards to the treatment of black people. In fact, only conceded when legally forced to do so.
Women were not allowed to hold the posts of Cubmaster or Scoutmaster until 1988, although they were allowed to participate as in Cub Scouting as “den mothers”. Catherine N. Pollard sued in Connecticut state courts to be allowed the post of Scoutmaster. Although the court ultimately ruled against her, in 1988 the BSA’s executive board voted to allow women to hold the post of Scoutmaster. So less than 25 years ago WOMEN were still being discriminated against in this archaic institution!
Now loving and devoted parents like myself and Greg Bourke are being refused membership. We just want to be involved in our children’s lives and watch them grow into wonderful, productive adults. Please stop denying us that right.
This resistance to change is unhealthy behavior and has a negative effect on society and more importantly ,encourages discrimination and intolerance. The American Medical Association (AMA) has reaffirmed “that there is no basis for the denial to any human being of equal rights, privileges, and responsibilities commensurate with his or her individual capabilities and ethical character because of an individual’s sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or transgender status, race, religion, disability, ethnic origin, national origin, or age.”
Join me and Scouts For Equality in telling the BSA to include all AMERICANS! People have already been telling the BSA they do not approve as they have had more than a 21% decline in new membership since 1999 and the James Dale v. Boy Scouts of America Supreme court case. I wager a guess that if the BSA continues down this path, they will ultimately discriminate themselves into extinction. We love the BSA and do not want to see this happen. Despite this one policy, the BSA is a valuable institution in our society. It is our hope that they listen to the people that care about their future and include everyone.
If you haven’t signed this new petition, please sign now and share on FaceBook and Twitter.
The NOH8 campaign has joined in to assist in our journey to a better Boy Scouts! I had a private photo shoot in my hotel room in Los Angeles after the 25th annual GLAAD Awards. I am honored to not only support the amazing NOH8 project, but help launch a new branch! If you are a scout, scout leader, eagle scout or formerly any of the aforementioned, come to ANY open NOH8 shoot IN UNIFORM and you will be photographed by the one and only Adam Bouska, for FREE! Read here
Get involved and Stay informed:
For updates to this campaign follow Jen on Twitter @Jen_Tyrrell
This blog may also appear in part or in its entirety on Huffington Post- Gay Voices