According to Change.org Boy Scouts of America officials have proposed a new policy -- which could be voted on as early as 2013 -- that would allow local chartering organizations to decide whether or not to accept gay youth and leaders.
The proposal comes as a result of a petition, launched by Zach Wahls, collected more than 275,000 signatures. The petition, delivered by Wahls to the National Annual Meeting of the Boy Scouts of America, calls on the Boy Scouts to reinstate a lesbian den leader in Ohio, Jennifer Tyrrell, who was removed from her position because of her sexual orientation, and to end the Boy Scouts’ long-held policy barring openly gay scouts and scout leaders.
“Last Wednesday I delivered 275,000 petition signatures -- including the signatures of thousands of scouts and scout leaders -- to the Boy Scouts of America because I love the organization and I refuse to stand by idly as it forfeits its cultural relevancy at the very moment this country needs it most,” said Wahls. “In proposing to allow local charter organizations to decide whether or not they’ll include gay youth and leaders within their ranks, the Boy Scouts of America has taken an historic step forward, and I applaud their bravery in doing so.” He continued, “As both an Eagle Scout with a personal investment in the success of the Boy Scouts of America and as the son of a lesbian couple, it means a lot to see this change finally set in motion,” added Wahls.
Wahls delivered the signatures on behalf of Jennifer Tyrrell, a lesbian mom who was removed as den leader of her seven-year-old son’s Cub Scout troop in Ohio last month. After being removed from her position, Tyrrell started a petition on Change.org asking to be reinstated, and urging the Boy Scouts to stop dividing families and communities with a policy that excludes gay familes, scouts and leaders.
Included in the signatures were those of many Hollywood celebrities including GLEE’s Dianna Agron, Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore, Ricky Martin, Fran Drescher, Kelly Osbourne, Benicio Del Toro, and more.
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