Two years. That’s how long the Boy Scouts of America reviewed its policy over allowing openly gay scouts and scoutmasters to serve. And the conclusion? Gays simply aren’t allowed.
The Associated Press broke the news this week that after much criticism – and even pleading from several Fortune 500 board members. But the organization has decided to uphold its policy to not allow gay men to serve in any capacity. The same goes for the lesbian mom who was ousted as her son’s cub leader just because of her sexuality.
“A secret committee of 11 people can’t ignore the hundreds of thousands of people around the country – including thousands of Eagle Scouts, scout families and former scouts – that want the ban on gay scouts and scout leaders removed,” says Jennifer Tyrrell, the mom who was told she couldn’t be a den mother because she’s gay. “This campaign doesn’t stop, and we will continue to show the Boy Scouts that discrimination and intolerance have no place in scouting. On Wednesday, I look forward to sharing with the BSA thousands of comments from families like mine that say the time is now to end this anti-gay policy.”
Just recently, an Eagle Scout was fired in Missouri as a camp counselor after coming out.
“This is a missed opportunity of colossal proportions,” says HRC President Chad Griffin in a statement. “With the country moving toward inclusion, the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have instead sent a message to young people that only some of them are valued. These adults could have taught the next generation of leaders the value of respect, yet they’ve chosen to teach division and intolerance.”
And Zach Wahls, the son of two mothers who attracted attention for his statement about gay marriage and family in Iowa, has also been pushing for the Scouts to lift the ban.
“This announcement is old news,” says Wahls. “We’ve heard this line before, and I’m sure they’ll keep saying this until the day they decide to change the policy. This announcement, moreover this ‘process,’ is just a distraction. We know where this is headed. Above all, what is most disappointing about today’s announcement is the secretive nature surrounding how this conclusion was reached. The very first value of the Scout Law is that a Scout is trustworthy. There is absolutely nothing trustworthy about unelected and unnamed committee members who are unwilling to take responsibility for their actions.”