The Boy Scouts is a rite of passage for any young boy, teaching survival, community values, and creativity--but apparently not acceptance. Jennifer Tyrrell, a Bridgeport, OH, mother to 7-year-old Cruz and Den Mother of their local Tiger Scout pack, recently received a phone call from the regional Boy Scout authorities informing her that she was out of the organization because she was gay, reports The New York Times.
“Scouting, and the majority of parents it serves,” said officials from the Boy Scouts national office, “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.”
Tyrrell was fully aware of the organization’s long-standing policy against gay parents and scouts, and was reluctant to allow Cruz to join. However, his outspoken dreams of camping and woodworking changed her mind, and she soon accepted the position of Den Mother when other parents refused to take the lead. Once she was accepted, she had a discussion with local leaders about the arrangement, and they pledged to stand behind her (and they have), flat-out ignoring policy.
Despite the trips over the past year to the local soup kitchen to feed the homeless, treks into the woods to camp, and outings to ring the Salvation Army bell, Tyrrell’s work has been shadowed by her sexual orientation as a gay mom. She has started a petition at Change.org hoping to change the Boy Scouts policy, which has since been signed by over 165,000 people.
Do you think gay and lesbian parents should be allowed to take active part in the Boy Scouts?