|Jennifer Tyrrell and her son Cruz.|
It’s time the Boy Scouts of America changed their name to the Boy Scouts of a Part of America. It’s a little cumbersome, but it’s an honest reflection of the bigotry that organization has come to represent. I just got the email below from Jennifer Tyrrell, and I was happy to sign and post it here at Katalusis. Please join me in this struggle for the rights of all Americans.
My 7-year-old son, Cruz, loves being a Cub Scout, and he really loved when I got to be his pack's den leader. But the Boy Scouts of America asked me to step down as the leader of my son's group -- just because I'm gay. Cruz doesn't understand why that matters, and frankly, neither do I.
When Cruz told us last year that he wanted to be a Boy Scout, my partner and I were concerned. We knew the organization has discriminated against families like ours before. But the other families in Cruz's group were so welcoming and supportive -- they even asked me to be a den leader on the first day.
One year later, our fears came to life. A representative of the Boy Scouts of America abruptly told me I was no longer welcome -- that because I'm gay, I didn't "meet the high standards of membership that the Boy Scouts of America seek."
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. Click here to sign my petition.
During the year that I was den leader, my cubs performed volunteer service at a local soup kitchen, collected canned goods for area churches to distribute in food baskets, and worked on a conservation project for a state park.
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.