11:38pm CDT 5/28/2013
Jennifer Tyrrell, who last year started a petition that had a significant part in ending the ban on gay Scouts, is launching a new petition. The Boy Scouts of America voted to allow openly gay Scouts for the first time ever, but it still bans gay parents and leaders. Tyrrell is still unable to serve.
“May 23, 2013 was a monumental day for the Boy Scouts of America: the day they voted to end their discriminatory ban on openly gay youth. Now, for the first time in the Boy Scouts’ hundred-year history, gay kids can be Scouts without having to hide who they are.
That’s the good news, and it’s pretty amazing. But the bad news is that gay parents like me are still banned from serving as Scout leaders.
In April of 2012, I was forced to resign as leader of my son’s Cub Scout pack because I’m gay. I was devastated to be told that I wasn’t good enough to be part of my own son’s life. No parent should ever have to feel that way, and the Boy Scouts have no business telling kids that gay adults aren’t to be trusted.
That’s why I’m calling on local Boy Scout Councils all over America to reject this discriminatory ban and allow gay youth AND gay parents to serve openly.
Boy Scout Councils have a great deal of autonomy — in fact, just moments after the Boy Scouts voted to end the ban on gay youth, the Connecticut Yankee Council said that it welcomes all youth and leaders regardless of their sexual orientation. I know that if enough people sign my petition, brave local councils will step forward to treat all parents equally, no matter our sexual orientation.
We’ve already seen what amazing things we can accomplish when we band together and raise our voices for inclusion, equality, and love. I pledged one year ago that I would keep on fighting until I was included. I’m certainly not going to give up now.”
Sign and share Jennifer’s petition to allow gay parents to serve as troop leaders: http://www.change.org/scoutleaders
3:59pm CDT 5/24/2013
Some photos from GLAAD’s day on the ground today at the BSA’s headquarters in Dallas, TX.
3:33pm CDT 5/24/2013
Zach Wahls appeared on Andrea Mitchell Reports today to discuss yesterday’s historic action by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).
3:00pm CDT 5/24/2013
More interviews for Jennifer Tyrrell as she tries to spread her message of acceptance and equality for LGBT families.
1:45pm CDT 5/24/2013
On The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, founder of Scouts for Equality (SFE), spoke last night after the BSA held a press conference announcing their decision.
12:15pm CDT 5/24/2013
Former Scouts and Military personell Dave and Joe McGrath, who biked 1,000+ miles from Idaho Falls, ID to Dallas, TX deliver their 95 objections to the Boy Scouts current policies to the BSA Headquarters. They are meeting with the staff of the Boy Scouts and calling for fully inclusionary membership policies.
11:32am CDT 5/24/2013
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes in “Boy Scouts of America vote to allow gay youths:”
“An Eagle Scout himself, Mark Johnston of Mount Washington was devastated when he came out as gay and was forbidden from attending his young sons’ scouting events.
His dad stood by him as he received his Eagle rank, but Mr. Johnston, 45, says he just doesn’t know if he’ll be welcome to do the same for his son’s ceremony, though he would love to be involved.
The Boy Scouts of America took a ‘step in the right direction’ Thursday, he said, when it voted to put an end to the rule that kept openly gay youth out of its ranks.
‘When we get to the point when we’re no longer limiting children’s rights to be a part of a phenomenal organization because of who they are — it’s fantastic,’ said Mr. Johnston, who was volunteering at a Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh event, Xtreme Bingo, Thursday evening.”
11:27am CDT 5/24/2013
The Seattle Times writes in “Scouts’ vote on gays met with celebration, sadness:”
For gay youngsters who were forced out of Scouting and their allies, thousands of whom joined the push for change, the opening of membership was more than welcome.
‘I’ve waited 13 years for this,’ said Matt Comer, 27, who was forced out of his troop at age 14 after he started a Gay-Straight Alliance at his school.
Since the fourth grade, he said Thursday, he had dreamed of becoming an Eagle Scout and was crushed when he was denied the chance.
11:20am CDT 5/24/2013
Scott K. Parks and Sarah Mervosh of The Dallas Morning News report in “Boy Scouts delegates vote to lift ban on openly gay youths:”
“The resolution’s supporters cheered after learning it had passed. They hugged one another. Some who had been holding their breath exhaled. And a few cried.
‘My ears are ringing,’ said Alex Derr, a 19-year-old Eagle Scout. ‘I’ve been waiting for four or five years for this to happen. Everyone here has.’
Jennifer Tyrrell, an openly gay mom, was removed as a Cub Scout den leader in Ohio when her sexuality became an issue. She called the resolution ‘a small step in the right direction’ even though it won’t lead to her reinstatement as a den leader.
‘I just can’t explain to people what it’s like to have to look at your child and have to tell them people think you’re not good enough. If I can save one person from having to do that, then I’m good,’ she said.
‘Today’s vote ending discrimination of gay Scouts is truly a historic moment and demonstrates the Boy Scouts of America’s commitment to creating a more inclusive organization,’ said Zach Wahls, a heterosexual Eagle Scout who was raised by a lesbian couple and founded Scouts for Equality”
11:07am CDT 5/24/2013
Phil Gast. Greg Botelho and Devon M. Sayers of CNN report in “Boy Scouts to allow gay youths to join:”
“Scouts for Equality and GLAAD lauded the BSA’s ‘commitment to creating a more inclusive organization.’
Jennifer Tyrrell, an Ohio mother who was ousted as a den leader in April 2012 because she’s lesbian, called Thursday’s vote ‘incredible.’
‘They’ve never been raised to discriminate against anyone regardless of sex or color or anything, so they can’t understand why people care so much,’ she said of her children. ‘… Definitely, one day, I hope they look back and think that we’re part of something amazing.'”
11:00am CDT 5/24/2013
Elizabeth Dias of Time Magazine writes in “Boy Scouts Vote to Allow Gay Youth:”
“Scouts for Equality started fighting to overturn the ban last year. Founder Zach Wahls, a 21-year-old Eagle Scout with two mothers, hired twenty staffers and organized hundreds of volunteers to promote the ban’s repeal. ‘Today’s vote ending discrimination of gay Scouts is truly a historic moment and demonstrates the Boy Scouts of America’s commitment to creating a more inclusive organization,’ Wahls says. ‘Scouts for Equality is honored to be a part of the movement that has achieved a tremendous victory towards the fight for equality in America and we are proud to call ourselves Scouts.’
The new resolution does not permit gay staff or scout leaders in the organization. That still separates the Boy Scouts from other leading youth development organizations, like the Girl Scouts, 4-H clubs, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America — all of which already allow both gay youth and staff. Scouts for Equality and GLAAD plan to continue their fight to overturn that portion of the ban next.”
James Hablin of The Atlantic writes in “Boy Scouts Recognize Gay Boys as Equal:”
“It’s okay — good, progressive, even — to hear and respond to outside pressure. Like when politicians talk about flip-flopping, as if changing to accommodate an evolving landscape is a negative thing, the BSA seems to revere notions of a value system that does adapt to feedback. Everybody benefits from feedback, and people appreciate when being heard them. Today the BSA recognized norms that are different from when the organization was founded in 1910 (and when the official anti-gay policy was signed in 1978).
Of course it’s within their rights to limit membership as they see fit, but when a massive organization that professes values of a good, moral life but also distances itself from an already oppressed minority group — one at higher risk for bullying, depression, and suicide — it enters the realm of tangible public health concerns. BSA is a celebrity in the arena of morality. When it endorses ideals, they do not manifest in a vacuum.”
Michelle Boorstien of the Washington Post writes in ” Boy Scouts vote to allow openly gay youths, maintain ban on gay adult leaders:”
“Gay rights groups have poured resources into the measure’s passage, which they called “historic” when viewed as an important step toward eventually removing the ban against gay adult leaders. For this reason, gay proponents said they are willing to overlook temporarily the obvious awkwardness of the arrangement: Youths who are gay can be out, but the day they turn 18 they can no longer serve in an organization in which it’s common for people who were Boy Scouts to remain active as adult leaders.
Alex, a 19-year-old gay Wisconsin Eagle Scout and scoutmaster who didn’t want his last name used to protect his privacy, was in a room full of gay advocates in Texas when the vote was announced. He said he watched the faces of gay adult leaders he knew had been kicked out of the organization to see how they reacted.
‘Surprisingly, every single one of them was crying tears of joy. We all know and believe this shows — they are going to get there. They will have that equality,’ he said.”
Jason Sickles of Yahoo! News writes in “Boy Scouts vote to end ban on gay youth members:”
“News of the change brought tears of joy to Melanie Gerken, the mother of an Eagle Scout and a longtime volunteer with Cleveland-area troops.
‘It’s about time,’ said Gerken, choking back tears.
She said she hopes the organization takes it a step further by allowing gay volunteers to work with Scouts.
‘Being homosexual doesn’t make you a pedophile,’ Gerken told Yahoo News. ‘I don’t care what goes on in your bedroom behind closed doors. What can you do for other people and youth?'”
Molly Hennessy-Fiske of The Los Angeles Times writes in “Boy Scouts lift ban on openly gay youth:”
“Wayne Brock, chief executive of Boy Scouts of America, called the debate ‘a challenging chapter in our history’ and said the vote was ‘truly in the best interests of Scouting.’
‘It allows us to better serve kids,’ he said. ‘The decision has been made — it’s time to stand together.’
Officials said that in coming days a national team would begin working with local councils to prepare guidelines for implementing the resolution.”
10:32am CDT 5/24/2013
Some photos from yesterday of the teams from GLAAD, Scouts for Equality (SFE), the Inclusive Scouting Network (ISN), Change.org, and the peitions starters working with the media before yesterday’s historic vote.
10:16am CDT 5/24/2013
Cruz Burns, son of Jennifer Tyrrell, watched himself and his mother on television after they made history.
9:56am CDT 5/24/2013
Pictured above are staff and volunteers from GLAAD, Scouts for Equality (SFE), the Inclusive Scouting Network (ISN), Change.org and the various petition starters who made this change possible after they recieved the news that the Boy Scouts would begin to drop it’s ban on gay membership.
9:44am CDT 5/24/2013
Reuters reports, in the article entitled “Boy Scouts of America votes to end century-old ban on gay scouts:”
“About 70 percent of the group’s 100,000 Boy Scout units are chartered by faith-based organizations, according to Boy Scouts membership data. Some 22 percent of the units nationwide are chartered by civic organizations, and 7 percent are chartered by educational groups.
One of the major turning points in the debate came earlier this year when the Mormon church – the largest sponsor of scouting troops nationwide – expressed support for ending the ban. The Mormon church charters nearly 38,000 scout troops representing nearly a quarter million scouts.
The next largest faith-based sponsor is the United Methodist Church, which charters about 11,000 troops representing about 363,000 scouts. They, too, issued a statement supporting an end to the ban. The Catholic church, which sponsors about 8,400 troops, has taken no official position on the controversy.”
9:20am CDT 5/24/2013
Good Morning America (GMA) also covered the historic news from the Boy Scouts this morning.
9:05am CDT 5/24/2013
NBC News coverage from the night of 5/23/2013.
Miranda Leitsinger and Jason White, also of NBC News, reported in “Boy Scouts vote to life ban on gay youth:”
“Over 61 percent of Scouting’s National Council of 1,232 delegates from across the country voted to lift the ban, BSA officials said. The final tally was 757 yes votes, to 475 no (another 168 delegates did not cast a ballot since they were not present at the meeting). The ban on gay leaders was not voted on and will remain in place.”
9:00am CDT 5/24/2013
The Today Show posted a segment covering the Boy Scouts news entitled “Boy Scouts historic vote won’t end the debate.”
7:20am CDT 5/24/2013
USA Today published “Boy Scouts vote to allow gay members“
7:08am CST 5/24/2013
The New York Times published “Boy Scouts End Longtime Ban on Openly Gay Youths“
“Glaad, a gay-rights group that has campaigned for change over the last year, said it would keep pressure on the Boy Scouts over the leadership issue.‘We’ll continue urging corporate donors and public officials to withhold their support,’ said Richard Ferraro, the group’s vice president for communications.Several sponsors, including the UPS Foundation, Merck, the Intel Foundation, and many local United Ways and city agencies had already ended financing for the Scouts because the group’s policies violated their own nondiscrimination guidelines.”
7:03am CDT 5/24/2013
Jennifer Tyrrell at the local FOX affiliate.