Following a campaign, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has said it will review the policy which bans lesbians and gays from participation.
The campaign stepped up after Jennifer Tyrrell, a Cub Scout den mother in Ohio, was dismissed from her position after local Boy Scout officials learned she is a lesbian. It has been led by GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and Zach Wahls, the activist son of lesbian moms.
Wahls is the teenage Iowan whose speech to Iowa’s State House in defense of his moms went viral last year. He has pointed out, drawing from his own childhood experience, that Boy Scout policy is actually elective.
BSA says that a resolution submitted by a Scout leader from the Northeast in April and presented at the BSA’s annual meeting last week in Orlando that would allow individual troops to accept gay people as scout leaders would be referred to a subcommittee, which will then make a recommendation to the national executive board. The process would likely be completed by May 2013.
Wahls said he and his allies planned a campaign to mobilize opposition to the gay-exclusion policy from within Scout ranks, with the goal of building pressure for the resolution to be approved.
Up to the day they end this policy, they’ll be saying they have no plans to do so. But there’s no question it’s costing the Boy Scouts in terms of membership and public support.
As both an Eagle Scout with a personal investment in the success of the Boy Scouts of America and as the son of a lesbian couple, it means a lot to see this change finally set in motion.
Current and former scouts have banded together to form Scouts for Equality.
Boy Scouts stands alone from other youth organizations which welcome gay, lesbian or transgender kids as well as parents, such as the Girl Scouts of America, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and the 4H Club.
Watch the interview with Wahls by Think Progress:
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