The rock band Train has announced it is cancelling its planned appearance at this year’s Boy Scouts National Jamboree in protest of the organization’s ban on gay scouts and gay and lesbian scout leaders.
The group said it was not aware of the Scouts’ anti-gay policy when it agreed to headline the annual scouting event, which attracts more than 50,000 participants.
The announcement comes in response to a Change.org petition launched by openly gay Eagle Scout Derek Nance of Reno, Nev., who called on Train and singer Carly Rae Jepsen, who both scheduled to appear at the July event, to denounce the Scouts’ anti-gay policy.
On Friday, just hours after GLAAD signed on to support Nance’s petition, Train issued this statement:
When we booked this show for the Boy Scouts of America we were not aware of any policy barring openly gay people from participation within the organization. Train strongly opposes any kind of policy that questions the equality of any American citizen. We have always seen the BSA as a great and noble organization. We look forward to participating in the Jamboree this summer, as long as they make the right decision before then.
The petition, which now has more than 29,000 online signatures, calls on Jepsen to follow suit.
“After 3,000 people signed my petition, Train announced that they strongly opposed the BSA’s anti-gay policy, and that they would only perform at the Jamboree if the Boy Scouts end their ban on gay youth and parents this May,” announced Nance. “Unfortunately, Carly Rae Jepsen still hasn’t responded.”
Jepsen has previously stated that she supports LGBT rights and marriage equality.
In a 2012 interview with TIME magazine, Jepsen said, “You know, acceptance has never been a question to me. I’ve grown up knowing it’s just the way things should be. When we shot the ‘Call Me Maybe’ video, we weren’t even thinking the ending was not normal. […] And if my video is encouraging that mind frame with other children and other people – well, it’s about time, I guess!”
Jepsen’s music video for her 2012 breakout hit “Call Me Maybe” received national media attention for having a gay twist ending when the man she spent the song chasing ultimately gives his number to a male member of her band.