Ohio Lesbian Cub Scout leader fired for being Gay, fights back
 

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posted Friday, April 27, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 17

Ohio Lesbian Cub Scout leader fired for being Gay, fights back
by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

In March, the Boy Scouts of America removed den leader Jennifer Tyrrell, 32, from her position, telling her that because she is Lesbian, she 'did not meet the high standards' of conduct set by the Boy Scouts of America.

Tyrrell announced that her 7-year-old son Cruz would not remain in the national organization because of its discrimination against LGBT leaders and scouts.

'We can no longer support an organization that has these policies and we hope to get them changed,' said Tyrrell. 'That is our main goal.'

According to Tyrrell, Cruz is 'a little sad' because he 'loved scouting.' The boy says he enjoyed camping and earning badges with his local Bridgeport, Ohio, Tiger Cub Pack 109 since September 2011.

Now, Tyrrell is fighting back. The mother of four has waged a campaign to bring awareness to the Boy Scout policy on Change.org. Already, the petition has garnered 140,000 signatures plus celebrity endorsements.

'I hated feeling that my family had been discriminated against, so I started a petition on Change.org asking the Boy Scouts of America to stop discriminating against Gay people,' she wrote on the Change.org petition. 'After I was asked to leave, other parents from my pack were outraged. Some of them even waited for hours to voice their concerns to Boy Scout officials, but they were turned away. As for Cruz, he doesn't really understand why there's a problem. He made a sign that says, 'I love my two Gay moms.'

'Other organizations like the Girl Scouts and Boys & Girls Clubs of America welcome Gay kids as well as adult leaders - I know that if thousands of people sign my petition, the Boy Scouts will see that it's time for them to adopt a policy that incorporates their own core values of compassion and respect,' she said.

'I had no idea this would take off like it has,' said Tyrrell, who lives with her partner of five years. 'It's humbling and very exciting that so many people are finally agreeing with us.'

Ohio does not recognize same-sex marriage.

On April 21, Tyrrell and her family made an appearance at the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, where they were honored for taking a stand.

'We want to get the word out,' she told ABC News.

The Boy Scouts of America released the following statement, 'Scouting, and the majority of parents it serves, does not believe it is the right forum for children to become aware of the issue of sexual orientation, or engage in discussions about being Gay. Rather, such complex matters should be discussed with parents, caregivers, or spiritual advisers, at the appropriate time and in the right setting. To disagree does not mean to disrespect and we respect everyone's right to have and express a different opinion. Scouting will continue to teach our members to treat everyone with courtesy and respect.'

The Girl Scouts of America has had a diversity policy and non-discrimination clause since 1980.



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