Here's what happened, in Jennifer Tyrrell's words:
My name is Jennifer Tyrrell. I am a devoted partner, mother, friend and community leader in Bridgeport, Ohio. I’m also a former Tiger Cub den leader with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). I was recently removed from this volunteer position, and my membership was revoked after nearly a year of service – just because I happen to be gay.
Shortly after registering my son for Cub Scouts, I was asked to assume the role of den leader and was persuaded by a platform of tolerance, acceptance and support. Throughout the year, my cubs performed volunteer service at a local soup kitchen, collected canned goods for area churches to distribute in food baskets, participated in bell-ringing for the Salvation Army, and, at the time of my removal, were working on a conservation project for a state park. My Tiger Cubs earned multiple Scout badges for service and skills, while learning and exercising the 12 Core Values of Scouting: citizenship, compassion, cooperation, courage, faith, health & fitness, honesty, perseverance, positive attitude, resourcefulness, respect, and responsibility.
The revocation of my membership came shortly after I was elected treasurer of my pack and uncovered some inconsistencies in the pack's finances. Within a week of reporting these findings to the council, I received notice that my membership had been revoked, based on my sexual orientation, citing that because I'm gay, I did "not meet the high standards of membership that the BSA seeks."
There was an outcry of support for me by the parents of my Tiger Scouts, many of whom waited for hours to voice their concerns to members of the council and the pack's charter organization, but were turned away without the opportunity to do so.
Discriminating against Gay (GLBTQ) parents and children is contrary to everything the boy scouts say they stand for... I was a cub scout when I was a child.
Shouldn't it be evident that the we-hate-and-demean-gay-people-because-that's-what-our-parents-taught-us credo is contrary to the very beliefs they're saying they hold dear?
Gay people can be TRUSTWORTHY. LOYAL. HELPFUL. FRIENDLY. COURTEOUS. KIND. OBEDIENT. CHEERFUL. THRIFTY. BRAVE. CLEAN and REVERENT, too.
You can check out this interview with Jennifer, her son Cruz, and the new head of GLAAD on MSNBC here.
And please consider signing Jennifer's petition to the Boy Scouts to stand up and say
"It is time for the Boy Scouts of America to reconsider its policy of exclusivity against gay youth and leaders. Please sign this petition to call for an end of discrimination in an organization that is shaping the future."
About a quarter of a million people have signed the petition so far, including me!
How about you?