ONTD Political

Boy Scouts of America official resigns in protest over expulsion of gay mother

4:41 pm - 05/01/2012
A regional official of the Boy Scouts of America has resigned in protest at the expulsion of a gay mother from her son’s group for being a lesbian.

Jennifer Tyrrell was ejected from the scouting organisation when her sexual orientation became known.

Now, a board member at the Ohio River Valley Council has stood down.

David Sims, a lawyer, heard of Ms Tyrrell’s case last week and resigned in protest.

He told the Los Angeles Times: “I felt that it was wrong that she was removed as the Tiger Cub leader solely based on her sexual orientation.”

The Boy Scouts of America has adopted positions since 1991 which state that homosexuality is “inconsistent with the Scout Oath that a Scout be morally straight and in the Scout Law that a Scout be clean in word and deed”.

Its Scout Promise states: “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

The Scout Law states: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”

Mr Sims said he was not fully aware of the policy which banned gay leaders from the private organisation.

In his resignation letter, Mr Sims wrote: “I understand that this action was taken as a result of a standing policy of the Boy Scouts of America and that said action is legal. However, Ms. Tyrrell’s removal goes against my fundamental beliefs of how we should treat our fellow human beings and is, in my opinion, wholly discriminatory.

“I understand that the Boy Scouts of America is free to run its organization as it sees fit, however, I cannot formally be a part of it based upon this policy.”

Mr Sims, who attained the top, Eagle Scout, status as a scout, urged them to reconsider.

He added that he “knew” his father, who had also reached the highest level, “would support my decision.”

The Boy Scouts of America issued a statement saying: “Scouting is composed of millions of youth members and adult volunteers, in councils across the nation, who represent diverse communities with a variety of beliefs about this issue.

“We value the freedom of everyone to express their opinion and believe to disagree does not mean to disrespect. We’d like to thank this Boy Scout Council board member for his service to youth and wish him well in his future endeavors to serve his community.”

Ms Tyrrell, 32, told the paper she was “very moved” by Mr Sims’ decision and was still hopeful the Boy Scouts of America could be persuaded to change their policy. 264,000 people have signed a Change.org petition to the same effect.

mirhanda 1st-May-2012 09:20 pm (UTC)
Good for him! I hope others involved in that organization will follow suit and maybe things can change. Otherwise, I hope families find other outlets for their boys to learn those sorts of crafts and skills.
lickety_split 1st-May-2012 09:27 pm (UTC)
“On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

So that last part is meant to be taken literally, I gather?
bnmc2005 1st-May-2012 09:37 pm (UTC)
Yes but the second clause is up for interpretation, apparently.
dumpweeds 1st-May-2012 09:56 pm (UTC)
this reminds me in my gov class in high school, when we did a mock election, and one of the candidates was a boy scout and he was spouting all sorts of shit about being morally straight and anti-gay and the one gay kid in my class (who was also on my team [and we won the election]) shut him down and it was pretty great tbh
kyra_neko_rei 1st-May-2012 10:19 pm (UTC)
So then "immorally straight" means a rapist/cheater/molester of/with people of the opposite sex . . . and "morally straight" means approved churchgoing marital heterosexuality?

Huh. Here I thought it was a random coincidence that they used the same word to mean good morals as later got adopted as the term for het people.
angelofdeath275 1st-May-2012 09:29 pm (UTC)
I'm glad he stood up to Boy Scouts. I hope for a change to happen but Girl Scouts will always be better.
madelynnm 1st-May-2012 10:17 pm (UTC)
That's cause girls > boys. Also we have cookies.
brewsternorth 1st-May-2012 11:37 pm (UTC)
Oyes. New York's Big Gay Ice Cream Shop actually had a go at making Girl Scout cookie sundaes, too.
angelofdeath275 2nd-May-2012 12:49 am (UTC)
omg girl scout cookie sundaes i can only dream
callmepatsy 1st-May-2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
Oh Boy Scouts...so far behind the Girl Scouts...

Actually, my Dad was an Eagle Scout, and is very proud of it (though, that was in, like 1950, when this was not an issue that was discussed.)
sesmo 1st-May-2012 10:13 pm (UTC)
My husband's family is full of eagle scouts, but I won't let my kids join that hidebound and discriminatory organization. Everyone is bummed about it, even me. I wish the BSA would wake up and smell the new century.
kyra_neko_rei 1st-May-2012 10:28 pm (UTC)
My brother's an Eagle Scout.

My parents told me that when I had kids I'd want them to have Cub/Boy Scouts. This was before I had the knowledge of my sexual orientation to inform her that my kids wouldn't be eligible because their mother was Not Straight. I didn't have the heart to tell her that I didn't want my daughters to feel the way I did when my sons got to do something they found interesting and weren't invited to join in. *still pissy about Brother going canoeing enough with the Boy Scouts that he got sick of it, so we never went as a family*
sesmo 1st-May-2012 10:41 pm (UTC)
If I had girls I would be all over the Girl Scouts. That's an awesome organization, unlike the BSA.
moonshaz 1st-May-2012 11:04 pm (UTC)
Girl Scouting was one of the best parts of my childhood. It's SO wonderful to know that they're still awesome.
latin_lunatic 1st-May-2012 11:43 pm (UTC)
I don't have kids so I try to support the Girl Scouts whenever I see them.
flyingwild 2nd-May-2012 01:32 am (UTC)
Yes. Girl Scouts are awesome.

Fuck the BSA, though.
lux_roark 1st-May-2012 11:11 pm (UTC)
My two uncles on my mom's side were Eagle Scouts. I refuse to enroll my boys in Cub/Boy Scouts though. I was considering it, but that's before I knew more about the organization.
johnjie 1st-May-2012 10:18 pm (UTC)
I myself am a member of the Scouts (out in Australia) and this shit would not fly AT ALL. Then again, Scouts out here is co-ed, if you're an atheist you don't have to make your Scout promise to God, etc.

And, I know this is off topic, but recently in my hometown there's been a lot of fuss about a woman who disappeared and was missing for 11 days - they ended up finding her body in a creek near one of the local Scout camps. Specifically, one I was at 7 days ago with the Cubs. I am really glad I did not take them anywhere where near the creek...
kira_snugz 2nd-May-2012 01:53 am (UTC)
scouts canada is coed and atheist friendly too!!

you are very lucky that you avoided the creek. that couldnt have been a good visual.

our scouts camp had to deal with a plane crash and body search and recovery. more than one, but only one while i was involved with scouting in the region

being horrible little feinds we were terribly excited and spent the entire next time we were there looking for bits that they missed. we did find a bit of plane, but it was in the lake and we never found out if it was from that crash or an earlier one. the leaders spent a lot of time awkwardly letting us know that if we needed to talk about it, they were there, but we were just focused on... building lean-tos and lighting stuff on fire.
johnjie 2nd-May-2012 06:13 am (UTC)
Even worse, it's a suspected murder, and the murder suspect is her husband, a Scout Leader and the great grandson of B-P :S
kira_snugz 2nd-May-2012 06:25 am (UTC)
for serious? oh my holy crap. thats horrible.

man i hope bp rises from the dead, summons a unholy army of undead scouts and rips that guy apart.
johnjie 2nd-May-2012 06:39 am (UTC)
likewise, it is pretty awful.
lastrega 2nd-May-2012 11:04 am (UTC)
Heh. We live in the same town. The internet is a small place.
johnjie 2nd-May-2012 11:49 am (UTC)
Wow, it really is! Nice to make your internet-acquaintance, fellow Brisbanite.
sparkindarkness 1st-May-2012 10:21 pm (UTC)
Thank ye gods - whenever arseholery like this happens one thing that wounds me more than anything else is thinking of the number of people who had to have sat there and said "hey, this is fine with me"

Because arseholes? Arseholes exist - we know there are no shortages of bigoted arseholes in the world. But it's the tolerance of them and the acceptance of them that makes my skin crawl. It's not just the sacking of her, but that so masny people in the organisation thought this was ok or, at very least, tolerable
lickbrains 1st-May-2012 10:28 pm (UTC)

Pawnee Goddesses: Freakin' Awesome

Also, good on him for doing that!

Edited at 2012-05-01 10:30 pm (UTC)
tabaqui 1st-May-2012 11:38 pm (UTC)
Good on him. I have not liked the Scouts one bit for a very long time, because of this sort of asshattery.
flyingwild 2nd-May-2012 01:33 am (UTC)
The BSA makes my skin crawl, not going to lie. Good for him for doing that. Though I'm sure it won't do anything to make them wake up and realize that the world has changed and for the better.
kira_snugz 2nd-May-2012 01:42 am (UTC)

good on this guy

this whole situation is horrible and not in anyway what scouting is supposed to be. robert baden powell is turning in his grave fast enough to supply power to all of kenya. (which is where his grave is)

the more i hear about scouting in the states, the less i like it.

i loved my days as a scout. i was a patrol leader, i had my silver chain. i worked my ass off for my badges and loved every minute of it. even the ones where the boys whined about me being a patrol leader. i got to meet the fricking queen, and prince phillip, who is the 'lead scout'. i got a medal. i got first aid skills and camping skills and all sorts of other awesome skills. i can light a fire with two peices of paper, one match and some twigs. (i can light anything on fricking fire) scouts canada is pretty awesome. it makes me sad to see how scouting in the states is. scouting is supposed to be awesome and enlightening and fun. not close minded and full of assholes
johnjie 2nd-May-2012 06:38 am (UTC)
You have just described Scouts Australia, in a nutshell. We hate the Boy Scouts of America out here, to be honest.

And high five for Patrol leader whistles! I still have mine, it's really handy for breaking up arguments :P
kira_snugz 2nd-May-2012 04:25 pm (UTC)
scouts canada hasn't been perfect or anything, but they are much more flexible than scouts america. they talk alot about what bp wanted, and how we could best live up to his dream in our own individual way rather than being carbon copiesof each other.

*high five* i didn't get to keep mine, our tradition was that each leader got the whistle from the leader they suceeded, and then in turn you passed it on to the person following you. i totally rarely used it when i had it though, as the scout that it came from was my older brother, and it took him 3 weeks to find it in his messy room. i never felt like it was clean enough to use. there was a neat little ceremony though, which was cool. i was the first girl in my province to be a patrol leader, and when i left i got to pass it to the third girl in my province to be a patrol leader.

a couple years ago my brother gave me a "un-official patrol leader whistle" for xmas. i still have it dangling on my keys. i only use it when i need my parents dog to pay attention, but it works awesome for that.
fragbert 2nd-May-2012 01:02 pm (UTC)
But it's perfectly acceptable to be a closeted homosexual predator and still be a Scoutmaster.


And they kept records on pedophiles but never went to the police:


Hey, they even helped one cross international borders!

lee_rowan 2nd-May-2012 02:16 pm (UTC)
Gee, sounds like the catholic church.
lee_rowan 2nd-May-2012 02:18 pm (UTC)
What's absolutely moronic about this whole issue is - the supposed rationale is to protect little boys from pedophiles.

Tyrrell is a lesbian

I wish that once in a while these homophobic clowns really would "think of the chilllldren."
nycscribbler 2nd-May-2012 04:18 pm (UTC)
I know! She might encourage them in their unwholesome desires towards... women. *rolleyes*

Whatever, BSA. Girl Scouts forever. (Three years, Troop 4839, Greater New York Council, up in hurrrr.)
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