Lesbian ex-den leader petitions Scouts for reinstatementAround the Nation, Top Highlights Thursday, July 26th, 2012
BRIDGEPORT, Ohio (CNN) – The lesbian den leader who was dismissed by her local Boy Scout troop this year has delivered a petition calling for her reinstatement to the organization’s headquarters.
Jennifer Tyrrell, who was the leader of a Bridgeport, Ohio, Tiger Cub den, brought 300,000 signatures collected by Change.org to the Boy Scouts’ national office in Irving, Texas.
“Along with those 300,000 signatures were tens of thousands of comments from Scouts — current Scouts, former Scouts, across the board — who disagree with the decision to keep this policy in place,” she told CNN’s Don Lemon.
Tyrrell’s 7-year-old son, Cruz, is no longer a Scout.
The organization’s director of public relations released a statement after Tyrrell submitted the petition.
“The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) works to treat everyone with courtesy and respect,” Deron Smith said in the news release. “Today, representatives from the BSA accepted an online petition from Jennifer Tyrell (sic) and her family. This is the second time the petition has been delivered to the BSA. The discussion was mutually cordial and very respectful. The BSA values the freedom of everyone to express their opinion and believes to disagree does not mean to disrespect.”
Earlier, the Boy Scouts announced that the group has affirmed its policy of “not granting membership to open or avowed homosexuals.”
The organization’s leaders reached that decision after a nearly two-year evaluation and will take no further action, it said in a news release. It had said last month that it would consider a resolution asking that local units be allowed to determine their own standards.
BSA’s chief Scout executive and national president had created a committee of volunteers and professional leaders to evaluate the policy.
“The committee’s work and conclusion is that this policy reflects the beliefs and perspectives of the BSA’s members, thereby allowing Scouting to remain focused on its mission and the work it is doing to serve more youth,” the statement said.
In a written statement, the executive committee of the BSA national executive board said, “While not all board members may personally agree with this policy, and may choose a different direction for their own organizations, BSA leadership agrees this is the best policy for the organization and supports it for the BSA.”
The deputy executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Darlene Nipper, called the decision “deeply disappointing.”
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