Zach Wahls to Deliver Petition to Reinstate Lesbian Den Leader and End Gay Scout Ban
Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout whose YouTube video in support of his two gay moms went viral last year, will deliver a petition urging the Boy Scouts of America to reinstate Jennifer Tyrrell, an Ohio mother ousted as den leader of her 7-year-old’s Cub Scout troop because of her sexual orientation. The petition now has 275,000 signatures from scouts, scout leaders and former scouts and Wahls will deliver it during the Boy Scouts’ National Annual Meeting in Florida on Wednesday, May 30, 2012.
Wahls will deliver the petition as well as speak in support of Tyrrell. He will also urge the Boy Scouts to end their policy banning gay scouts and scout leaders.
Tyrrell started the petition on Change.org in April after she heard that she could no longer serve as the den leader of her son’s troop because she is gay. The petition now has over 275,000 signatures supporting Tyrrell’s reinstatement and ending the ban on gay youth and leaders from serving.
“It is both disappointing and discouraging that the Boy Scouts continue to fixate on the identity of adult leaders instead of the content of their characters,” Wahls said in a statement. “In the Boy Scouts, I learned valuable lessons about bravery, respect, and not passing judgment on others. If only the Boy Scouts would practice what they preach and end this discriminatory policy against families, youth and leaders.”
The petition has also gained support from celebrities including the likes of Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore, Fran Drescher, Benicio Del Toro, Ricky Martin, Kelly Osbourne, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and more.
“I feel so lucky to have the support of thousands of scouts, scout leaders and former scouts. These are people who know firsthand how valuable scouting can be, but also know how damaging the policy prohibiting gay youth and gay leaders can be for troops and communities,” Tyrrell said in a press statement. “I remain extremely hopeful that this network of current and former scouts and scout leaders can create the type of change within the Boy Scouts organization, and that soon we will see a Boy Scouts that truly values tolerance, diversity, and respect within its membership.”
View the current signature total on the petition page here. Wahls will deliver the signatures at the Boy Scouts of America National Annual Meeting at Gaylord Palms Resort and Spa in Kissimmee, FL.