Lesbian mom Jennifer Tyrrell delivered a petition to Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Wednesday, containing 300,000 electronic signatures in support of the group changing its approach toward the gay community. On Tuesday, BSA reaffirmed its policy of disallowing membership to “open or avowed homosexuals.”
Ms. Tyrrell had been the den leader of the Tiger Cub Den, the Bridgeport, Ohio Cub Scout den that her 7-year-old son Cruz had been a part of, before she was asked to step down due to her sexual orientation. She then organized an electronic petition through Change.org to protest BSA’s decision to not allow gay members or den leaders.
Despite the “tens of thousands of comments” from scouts and former scouts, BSA stuck to its “no gay members allowed” policy. A statement released to the public on the decision states:
The committee's work and conclusion is that this policy reflects the beliefs and perspectives of the BSA's members, thereby allowing Scouting to remain focused on its mission and the work it is doing to serve more youth.
Good for the BSA for standing up for the majority of its members and not kowtowing to social pressure. The Boy Scouts are a private group, and they don't have to allow homosexuals. They don't allow women either (except as cub scout den leaders for the under 12 set), but no one is complaining about that.
I'm sorry that Ms. Tyrrell didn't get to fulfill her dream of becoming a den mother, but no one gets everything they want. She decided to have a child as a lesbian, which has its pros and cons. On the one hand, she's not allowed to lead her son's den (by the way, I didn't see anything about excluding the children of gay couples), but on the other hand mommies are awesome and Cruz has two!
The majority of Boy Scouts have said that they are not comfortable allowing homosexuals into their ranks. Here's the beauty of the free market -- if this is really something that so many scouts feel strongly about, they'll leave and find other places to do good deeds. Enough people leave, BSA may have to reexamine its policy. Until then, leave them in peace.
What do you think? Should the Boy Scouts of America be forced to accept homosexuals as members?
Image via stevendepolo/Flickr