BRIDGEPORT, Ohio — More than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Boy Scouts to reinstate a volunteer den mother who was ousted from her position because she is gay.
Jennifer Tyrrell of Bridgeport, Ohio was told on April 10 that she would no longer be able to serve as a den leader of her son’s Cub Scout chapter.
According to Tyrrell, who has served as a den leader for more than a year, the revocation of her membership came shortly after she was elected treasurer of her pack and uncovered inconsistencies in the pack’s finances.
“Within a week of reporting these findings to the council, I received notice that my membership had been revoked, based on my sexual orientation, citing that due to being gay, I did ‘not meet the high standards of membership that the BSA seeks,'” Tyrrell wrote in the petition that she launched at Change.org.
But Scout leadership said it their decision was “solely based on her sexual orientation.”
“We do not grant membership to individuals who are opened or avowed homosexuals,” said Bob Drury. Drury is the scout executive for the Ohio River Valley.
“The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to develop character and leadership skills and the youth of today to become leaders of tomorrow,” Drury said. “Anything that distracts from that mission distracts from what our program is.”via: WTOV-TV →
GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, this week joined Tyrrell in calling on the Boy Scouts to change its policy that prohibits LGBT people from serving as troop den leaders.
“The Boy Scouts of America is one of the last 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,” Graddick said.
Tyrrell said her biggest concern is that her scouts “will think that I abandoned them because they don’t understand.”