Boy Scouts | Discrimination | News | Ohio

Boy Scouts Dismiss Ohio 'Den Mother' Because She's Gay


Jennifer Tyrrelll, a Cub Scout den mother in Ohio, was dismissed from her position last week after local Boy Scout officials learned she is a lesbian.

WTRF reports:

Tyrrell served as a den mother for a year, but when the local district council learned of her homosexuality, they told Tyrrell she had to leave her den leader position.

"I feel like I've had a great year, I've bonded with my parents, my children, we've done a lot of really good things.  And in light of other circumstances, it was brought to the council's attention at a higher-up level that I was gay and I was forced to resign," added Tyrrell.

The Boy Scouts of America say it's within their first amendment rights to exclude openly homosexual persons from membership.

Watch an interview with Tyrrell HERE.


Supporters of Tyrrell held a protest outside the facility where meetings of the Cub Scout den are held, the Bridgeport Church of God:

Tyrrell said she doesn't feel that this is a good lesson for the boys, but leaders said there isn't anything they can do. They claim they would never have allowed her to become a den leader had they known of her sexual orientation a year ago. Even though they revoked her membership, local leaders said it in no way reflects how well she did with the children or how effective she was as a leader. They said it is solely based on her sexual orientation.

JenWrites Tyrrell in a post at GLAAD asking for support in a petition:

I am a devoted partner, mother, friend and community leader in Bridgeport, Ohio.  I’m also a former Tiger Cub den leader with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).  I was recently removed from this volunteer position, and my membership was revoked after nearly a year of service – just because I happen to be gay. Shortly after registering my son for Cub Scouts, I was asked to assume the role of den leader and was persuaded by a platform of tolerance, acceptance and support. Throughout the year, my cubs performed volunteer service at a local soup kitchen, collected canned goods for area churches to distribute in food baskets, participated in bell-ringing for the Salvation Army, and, at the time of my removal, were working on a conservation project for a state park. My Tiger Cubs earned multiple Scout badges for service and skills, while learning and exercising the 12 Core Values of Scouting: citizenship, compassion, cooperation, courage, faith, health & fitness, honesty, perseverance, positive attitude, resourcefulness, respect, and responsibility.  The revocation of my membership came shortly after I was elected treasurer of my pack and uncovered some inconsistencies in the pack's finances. Within a week of reporting these findings to the council, I received notice that my membership had been revoked, based on my sexual orientation, citing that due to being gay, I did "not meet the high standards of membership that the BSA seeks".

There was an outcry of support for me by the parents of my Tiger Scouts, many of whom waited for hours to voice their concerns to members of the council and the pack's charter organization, but were turned away without the opportunity to do so.

Tyrrell's petition is HERE.

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  1. The entire Boy Scouts organization can go to hell. And I say this as a former Boy Scout.

    Posted by: Rich F. | Apr 18, 2012 8:17:57 AM

  2. Blatant bigotry must be one of the "high standards of membership that the BSA seeks".
    The leaders of BSA are so entrenched in the past, they have few clues how to prepare solid young boys for their future. The 12 Core Values of Scouting needs an upgrade to 13.
    What's missing? A celebration of diversity. I believe that upgrade will come one day (soon?) with new top management of BSA.

    Posted by: Marcito | Apr 18, 2012 8:23:59 AM

  3. Although it is not indicative of a predisposition towards violence or inequality in civil rights, a 2011 Dutch study concluded that 49% of Holland's youth and 58% of youth foreign to the country reject homosexuality

    Posted by: Dree Dru | Apr 18, 2012 8:25:35 AM

  4. Does the Boy Scouts have a merit badge for bigotry?

    Posted by: Joseph | Apr 18, 2012 8:25:48 AM

  5. The Boy Scouts are entirely owned by the Catholic and Mormon and churches. They use them as nothing but indoctrination camps for their sick religions. Of course hatred and bigotry are their highest values.

    Posted by: Steve | Apr 18, 2012 8:28:53 AM

  6. The Salvation Army which the article mentions as a place where the Cub Scouts volunteered, is also anti-gay. The previous poster is wrong about the catholics and Mormons "Owning" entirely the Boy Scouts . The scouts are an independent non-profit, bigoted organization, which uses local churches, schools, and other groups as local sponsors. It expects its local sponsors to join in its bigotry and to enforce its "no gays or lesbians" policy.

    Posted by: Pete | Apr 18, 2012 8:39:28 AM

  7. I am an Eagle Scout & am so disappointed in the BSA. It was a huge part of my youth & offers a lot of life skills to kids at an important time in their lives.

    They are also WAY off-base here, but have the support of the courts in their discrimination.

    People that join this group must use the same rationale Katholics use... no one with integrity should be a member of these groups.

    Posted by: Pete n SFO | Apr 18, 2012 8:44:06 AM

  8. This is why the BSA should have no access to rent reductions in public buildings. They truly are free to say "faggots and dukes get out," but if they want to adopt that policy, cities should never give them free use of meeting space.

    You want to discriminate? Fine. Then start paying your fair goddamned share.

    Posted by: dn | Apr 18, 2012 8:55:59 AM

  9. Pee Thru, once, again, your urine-like drivel attempts to pass for something even remotely cogent.

    Posted by: YourMom | Apr 18, 2012 9:01:47 AM

  10. @Steve

    Catholics aren't Boy Scout supporters, but you are right about the Mormons. They've pretty much taken it over and make no apologies about it. When they couldn't get the Girl Scouts, too, they started this anti-GSA campaign.

    What I wanted to say was: how the hell didn't they know she was a lesbian?

    Posted by: Rin | Apr 18, 2012 9:05:22 AM

  11. The Boy Scouts are just another Mormon-front organization. No one who really cares about their children would allow them to be members.

    Posted by: Jay | Apr 18, 2012 10:32:18 AM

  12. Until the BSA became pretty much controlled by the LDS church and the "Church of Rome", which are among the largest "chartered partners" of the BSA, there were not these "witch hunts" in the BSA. As an Eagle Scout, I can tell you there were many gay leaders in scouting when I was growing up, some recognized with prestigious local, regional and national awards. Now, while I support the methods and ideals of "scouting" (the historical version, not the BSA's), I oppose the current policies of the BSA. Since they have been ruled a private organization, what fair-minded people who oppose BSA's policies can and should do is to be sure the BSA isn't "favored" with freebies from public funds. If they want to discriminate, it's sad, but let them totally pay for their own expenses. Nothing from public funding.

    Posted by: Larry Fiehn | Apr 18, 2012 10:33:15 AM

  13. I really don't see why this woman's lesbianism should be a problem as a "den mother." The Scouts are not preventing children from learning that gays and lesbians exist by excluding them. My guess is that in time the Scouts will change their policy on their own. But most people have a positive image of the Scouts - both the male and female groups of scouting. They have a wholesome image. And in a conflict between the gay community and the Scouts, the scouts will win in terms of public opinion (at least for the foreseeable future.) The LGBT community doesn't need to be seen as an opponent of wholesome social values. They should let this cultural change hapen on its own timetable.

    Posted by: Mary | Apr 18, 2012 11:08:45 AM

  14. So sad the boy scouts are controlled by the Mormons and other narrow minded groups. Though I have bitter memories of being harassed in the cup scouts and went on all of one outing in the boy scouts, I did learn some social skills. As a gay parent the article does pain me. We want good things for our kids. Sometimes I feel I have more in common with other parents than with other gays.
    Perhaps someone will start a new group for boys that is not all homophobic and stuck in a time warp..

    Posted by: Tom in long beach | Apr 18, 2012 11:28:01 AM

  15. There are secular co-ed scouting organizations like Camp Fire USA that would be much, much better for everyone involved. By they aren't as widespread

    Posted by: Steve | Apr 18, 2012 11:53:00 AM

  16. Correction: Camp Fire isn't secular. It's no Camp Quest. There are certainly local groups that push the god nonsense a bit, but it isn't dictated from them from above as with the BSA and probably not as central to their existence.

    Posted by: Steve | Apr 18, 2012 11:57:18 AM

  17. Look...just launch a class action lawsuit against the BSA and try and get this issue settled in the courts. Excuse my ignorance, I have no knowledge of previous or present legal activity regarding this subject.

    I bet she's a good den mom, and as time passes and society gets more and more fragmented and stratified, organizations like the BSA, even 'progressive' organizations, are having a harder and harder time getting people to volunteer and get involved. Too bad.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 18, 2012 11:57:33 AM

  18. I'm an Eagle Scout, and as soon as the Supreme Court decision came down upholding the BSA's right to discriminate, I cut all ties. If you're gay, there's no reason to be supporting an organization like that.

    Posted by: Griff | Apr 18, 2012 1:11:20 PM

  19. Why would we put our time and money into organizations that do not want us. I noticed from her post that she took the cub scouts to raise money for Salvation Army, another homophobic organization. Just focus on organizations that support us.

    Posted by: John | Apr 18, 2012 2:38:27 PM

  20. I was an Eagle Scout too but not longer support the organization, back when I was a cub and boy scout we celebrated diversity, respected others for their differences, (I remember the pictures of boy scouts from different countries and differences in the organization); however it has become more and more reactionary and less tolerant of anyone not white, anglo-saxon, protestant, heterosexual and male. It started in the 70's when the Eagle requirements were changed to make the program more "relevant" to inner city kids who didn't have the funds for camping, etc. I remember hearing (things the boys were supposed to) the arguments by leaders saying it was a travesty, same when they started allowing female troop leaders, etc instead of just den mothers. I cannot and will not support such an organization as one which has no respect for others.

    Posted by: steven | Apr 18, 2012 3:20:21 PM

  21. Scouts Canada doesn't discriminate & they usually have a group marching at Toronto Pride; from what I understand it's only the American branch that does. As previous posters have noted, there are many other fine organizations- why bother with such a bigoted one?

    Posted by: mike | Apr 18, 2012 4:20:20 PM

  22. Please tell my WHY gay people want to live in these hobunk backwards little towns and not expect homophobia. Move to a city. Get the hell out of hickville.

    Posted by: Reppin2 | Apr 18, 2012 8:47:53 PM

  23. Reppin2 -

    Gay people moving to big cities is hardly the heavy lifting of the gay rights movement. That's carrying coals to Newcastle. Staying put in your hometown, where you have a right to be, and insisting on your rights in the town your ancestors built is the heavy lifting of the gay rights movement.

    If we have "gay flight" then like the white flight of the 1950's-1970's we will teach our children not to stand for law and order, safety and civility in their own neighborhoods; they should simply pack up and run away.

    Posted by: David Hearn | Apr 19, 2012 12:05:00 AM

  24. We had a very unpleasant experience with Boy Scouts of Florida on the Everglades Campground. Not only that they behaved like pigs (restrooms very unusable after their stay, trash was thrown around, pickup trucks were parked on the wet grass, every night extreme drinking and noise, they were not paying for their full head count). Even worse we became during two weeks the target of racial slur, constant harassment, ... Obviously they thought they can do whatever they want. It took nearly those full two weeks until the rangers had enough and were throwing the whole group out. And at the end one of the adults made death threats against me.

    I cannot recommend any parents giving their children into the hands of those homophobic and racist extremists. It gave me an eye opener what kind of spirit is in this group.

    Posted by: Olaf Hansen | Apr 20, 2012 2:59:19 PM

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