GLAAD Supports Lesbian Mom who was Ousted From Boy Scouts
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) recently announced its support of an Ohio mother who was ousted from her son’s Cub Scout troop because she is a lesbian.
Jennifer Tyrrell says that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) need to change their discrimination policy that prohibits members of the LGBT community from serving as troop den leaders.
Tyrrell had been the den leader of her son’s Cub Scout chapter for more than a year but last week was forced to resign because of her sexual orientation. Tyrrell took to Change.org and created an online petition urging the BSA to stop discriminating against the LGBT community.
"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," the petition says.
GLAAD joined Tyrrell in order to prevent further discrimination against the LGBT from the BSA.
"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."
Boy Scouts officials defended the decision.
"We do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avow homosexuals." Bob Drury, a scout executive for the Ohio River Valley told the NBC affiliate Ohio news station WTOV 9. "The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to develop a character and leadership skills and [for] the youth of today to become the leaders of tomorrow. And anything that distracts from that mission, distracts from what our program is."
The BSA has a policy of excluding gays and lesbians, as well as atheists and agnostics. The policy is legal, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right to exclude whomever they please because the BSA is a private organization.
This isn’t the first time the Boy Scouts have been under fire for ousting the gay community. In a very similar case, a Vermont couple whose son has been a cub scout for years were prohibited to volunteer for the troop because of their sexual orientation.
"I was speechless," Cate Wirth told the local media. Cate and Elizabeth Wirth said that after they disclosed their relationship to a scout leader they were rejected from the troop despite having been involved for several years.
The Girl Scout of America, which is not affiliated with the Boy Scouts, maintains a policy of non-discrimination based on sexual identity.