Arts & Entertainment
Gay Scouts Deliver 1.4 Million Signatures To Boy Scouts Demanding End To Gay Ban
Originally printed 2/6/2013 (Issue 2106 - Between The Lines News)
DALLAS, TX - Four Scout leaders whose petitions on Change.org sparked a national movement to end the Boy Scouts' anti-gay ban delivered more than 1.4 million petition signatures to Boy Scouts headquarters on Feb. 4 as the organization's Board of Directors began a three-day meeting to discuss overturning the policy.
They were joined by Brad Hankins, Campaign Director for Scouts for Equality, as well as representatives from GLAAD and Change.orgm, the world's largest online petition platform.
Jennifer Tyrrell, a gay mom removed as the den leader of her 8-year-old son's Cub Scout pack; Greg Bourke, a gay dad who was forced to resign his position of Assistant Scoutmaster; Eric Andresen, the father of an 18-year-old Boy Scout who was barred from receiving his Eagle Award because of his sexual orientation; and Will Oliver, a gay Eagle Scout and student at Northwestern University, all traveled to Dallas to deliver their petitions and urge the Boy Scouts of America to end their national ban on gay Scouts and gay Scout leaders.
"Today, I'm helping deliver more than 1.4 million Change.org petition signatures to the Boy Scouts of America, urging the national board to end the ban on gay youth and parents and give me the opportunity to once again serve my son's Cub Scout Pack," said Tyrrel, who launched her Change.org petition last April. "I do not want one more mother or father to have to look their child in the eyes and tell them that their parents aren't good enough - or are different. The Boy Scouts of America can do better than that."
"After being forced to resign," explained Bourke. "I received unanimous support from the Boy Scouts in my troop, the other troop adult Leaders, the troop Committee, my pastor and everyone at my church. In the name of fairness, in the name of equality, in the name of God I ask the Executive Board to please end this harmful discrimination now."
After speaking outside Boy Scouts headquarters today, Tyrrell, Bourke, Andresen, and Oliver hand-delivered the petition signatures to a BSA representative.
The Board of Directors for the Boy Scouts of America is meeting Feb. 4-6 in Irving, where they plan to vote on a proposal that would officially end the national ban on gay service, and instead allow local Scout Councils around the country to determine whether or not to accept openly gay Scouts and leaders.
President Obama, in an interview before Sunday night's Super Bowl, reaffirmed his position that the Boy Scouts of America should end their national ban on gay Scouts and Scout leaders.
After over a week of reports that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) would consider lifting its national ban on gay Scouts and leaders, the organization's Board of Directors decided in a closed door meeting today to form a task force to study the issue, and will in the interim keep the discriminatory policy on the books — preventing openly gay Scouts and Scout leaders from serving in the organization.