Boy Scouts | GLAAD | Jennifer Tyrrell | News

Boy Scouts Defend Discriminatory Policy as Ousted Lesbian Den Mother Appears on CNN: VIDEO

Cnn_tyrrell

Jennifer Tyrrell, the Ohio den mother discmissed by the Boy Scouts for being a lesbian, appeared on CNN today to speak with Kyra Phillips.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

In related news, the Boy Scouts is standing by its discriminatory policy, LZ Granderson reports:

Needing answers, I reached out to the Boy Scouts and Deron Smith, the organization's director of public relations, sent me an official statement that in part read:

"Our focus is on delivering the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. Our mission does not include teaching young people about sex or sexual orientation, and we do not believe it is Scouting's role to introduce this topic in our youth development program."

Fair enough. So I asked Smith via e-mail if the group had received complaints that Tyrrell was attempting to turn the Scouts into an unofficial sex ed camp.

He didn't answer that question.

Meanwhile, parents in Tyrrell's PAck 109 are defending her:

Said fellow parent Robert Dunn:

"I'm not a city person. I'm just a backwoods hick, and I don't think anybody around here have an issue with homosexuals. She did a wonderful job, and what they did to her was just horrible. When I told my son Jen was kicked out because she is gay, he didn't know what was wrong because he thought gay meant happy. He's just devastated."

Said parent Patty Morgan:

"It has been brought to my attention that BSA is now saying that the boys were being taught about sex and other inappropriate subject matter. Those accusations are not true at all. I have three children in Scouts. My youngest Jordan, was a Tiger scout with Jen. Jen has been a great leader in our scouting family. I trust her with my children completely. It is sad that she must be defended against false accusations like these!"

More reactions at GLAAD.

Watch Tyrrell's CNN appearance, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Ugh, You cannot force the boyscouts to change, all you can do is not support it.

    But more importantly you shouldn't want the boyscouts to change. private clubs should be able to have their own rules! No they shouldn't be used as a discrimination platform, but if that is the case, destroy them for that. Not change, destroy. Lets all get rid of the Boy Scouts by not sending any kids there.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Apr 25, 2012 1:44:08 PM


  2. So the Boy (Mormon) Scouts are now lying about the quality of her leadership, implying she brought up sex?

    Quel surprise.

    Posted by: Caliban | Apr 25, 2012 1:46:37 PM


  3. I am so glad that she is speaking out. This tacit acceptance of discrimination has got to stop. Still, I can't help but wonder if it doesn't help in the eyes of many Americans that it's a lesbian who was kicked out. Would there be this kind of furor if it was a gay dad who was dismissed from his post as a Scoutmaster? After all, it's boys kissing that gets people's undies all in a bunch.

    Whatever, I'm glad that this backlash is finally happening.

    Posted by: D | Apr 25, 2012 1:46:57 PM


  4. F the Scouts. They kicked me out because I skipped a couple grades and said I needed to form my own troop with other boys who had skipped grades. Yeah, there were tons of other kids who had done that. My mother was so pissed, and I was so sad. Now I'm not.

    A good friend got kicked out of the Eagle Scouts for being gay and sued (with pro bono representation) the organization for about 10 years. The case kept going through appeals, but he lost. I hate this stupid organization.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 25, 2012 2:02:03 PM


  5. Oh...

    Posted by: researchpapermonster | Apr 25, 2012 2:02:32 PM


  6. Written simply and tastefully. It’s pleasant to read. Thank u

    Posted by: termpapermonster | Apr 25, 2012 2:08:18 PM


  7. Yes, D, there would be outrage. Since there was outrage when a man got kicked out of the Scouts, I think he was from Texas. He got kicked out and parents were saying how they were protesting the decision by pulling their children out of the Scouts.

    Fenrox, I 100% agree AND disagree with you. I agree that, ultimately, why associate with a group/club that hates you, it's something that makes sense in theory, that you would avoid such a situation. But, ultimately, we will never completely eliminate the scouts. And we CANNOT simply allow the Scouts and by extension, Mormons, continue to denigrate our lives and basic existences. We cannot allow young minds be poisoned by these bigots. If we don't stand up and speak out, it isn't going to get any better.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 25, 2012 2:13:47 PM


  8. What does Zach Whals have to say? He was an Eagle Scout with gay moms. This is exactly the place where he might make some additional difference.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Apr 25, 2012 2:15:59 PM


  9. Actually, the Boy Scouts do not claim that she brought up sex. They are adopting the even worse attitude found on the right wing that her mere existence brings up sex. Their argument, like the "Don't say gay" argument, is that children's mere awareness that there are gay as well as straight parents in their world is something children need to be protected against--that the world should not be represented as it is, but as a homosexuality-free world. That is why even people who have no connection to the Boy Scouts feel that it is in everyone's interest to challenge this very public defense of disinformation as education, because the privileged position of the Boy Scouts (which was founded by an obvious queer) constitutes a public pressure to take indoctrination for education.

    Posted by: coolbear | Apr 25, 2012 2:23:39 PM


  10. I Still would like to know how the BSA discovered she is gay? She mentions the support she got from the pack, but I would bet someone in the pack complained to council. What is the rest of the story???????
    The entire situation is just weird and pathetic. There are so many boys in scouting that come from broken families. Mother is a druggy, dad is in jail, the grandparents are raising them. Lots of single moms. The group is hurting for adult leaders to step up and help these boys. so sad this woman was asked to leave.
    I know two young men who are Eagle Scouts. One of them is gay, the other an atheist. Suck it BSA.

    Posted by: gallant | Apr 25, 2012 2:34:09 PM


  11. The position of the current leadership of the BSA is easier to understand when one knows that the BSA's largest chartered "partners" (organizations that sponsor Scout units) are the Mormon Church and the Roman Catholic Church. The BSA is, in effect, under the control of right-wing religious theocrats. Now, as an Eagle Scout (many years ago), I hate what BSA has become, but remain supportive of the original ideals and methods of "scouting". Most other World Scouting Associations do not discriminate against gay leaders or members. I say the way to beat-down the current BSA policies is to a) have Congress revoke their National Charter so they'll truly be a private organization instead of one "blessed" by the government and b) make sure they don't get free or reduced price usage of public facilities, especially in jurisdictions which have formal non-discrimination policies. It's doubtful change will come rapidly from within the BSA as they have been known to expel long-time heterosexual leaders who have publicly expressed disagreement with the current policies, so even many progressive leaders are circumspect in what they say.

    Posted by: Larry Fiehn | Apr 25, 2012 2:52:24 PM


  12. I have gone up to public donation tables accepting donations for the scouts, run by scouts and asked them about their exclusionary practices. One lady thought she could stop me talking because - and I am not kidding - I used the word "lesbian" in front of a 5 or 6 year old girl and the woman thought - seriously - that I had stepped over a legal line. She really, and I can't believe this, thought that I had used an obscenity in front of this child such that she could lodge a legal complaint. I didn't let her silence me, and they packed up rather than let me stand there and use that language in front of young children.

    Posted by: NullNaught | Apr 25, 2012 2:52:37 PM


  13. Nullnaught, you had every right to use the word "lesbian" in public, even in front of a child. The woman so offended was reacting as if its 1979 - which makes little sense today. There was a time when saying the word "lesbian" in front of a child probably WAS inappropriate. But that was years ago. With gay marriage legal in, is it 8 states now - children are going to learn that there are women who go with other women and that the term for this is "lesbian."

    But this is why I always advise caution to the gay movement when dealing with swing voters and "middle America" types. When gay marriage starts becoming legal in MANY more states in a brief period, or when the Supreme Court validates gay marriage for all 50 states with one decision, these people will have to face the fact that they've really lost. And that children can no longer be "protected" from the knowledge that gays and lesbians exist. We need them to be able to handle this reality without freaking out and getting (is this term OK, TJ?) "heteroballistic."

    I can accept defeat with a sense of humor (hence my presence on Towleroad). Not all social conservatives are capable of this.

    Posted by: mary | Apr 25, 2012 3:10:41 PM


  14. Incidentally, Nullnaught, don't let anyone drive you off Towleroad. Or tell you that your posts are too long or that you're trying to make this the "Nullnaught show". You are a fine writer and I enjoy your posts. And you are a courteous person who has shown that he understands his limitations. A lot of other people here could learn from your example.

    Posted by: mary | Apr 25, 2012 3:15:53 PM


  15. I've been over at WTOV9.com, the site of the local TV station who reported on this (http://www.wtov9.com/news/news/boy-scout-leader-has-membership-revoked-due-sexual/nMbyz/). Reading the article's comment section was pretty insightful. There were some comments in support of Jennifer Tyrrell along with a lot of ignorant comments defending the decision. And among the latter were some really charming comments filled with "Christian love" from the Bible Belt, like this one for example:
    "Nobody want that disgusting mentally disturbed bull dike carpet muncher around their children. The Boy Scouts is a PRIVATE organization and if they want to exclude poo-stabbing deviants and she-males then that is their right. Go form the queer scouts and practice doily weaving and mud wrestling."


    Posted by: Peter M. | Apr 25, 2012 3:32:41 PM


  16. The Boy Scouts is a fine organization, but the Boy Scouts of America is wrong in this policy and out of step with the World Souting movement. Do American Scouts not attend World Scout Jamborees? If they do they will come into contact with gay Scouts and gay Scout leaders from other nations.

    Posted by: Swiminbuff | Apr 25, 2012 3:57:53 PM


  17. If Lord Baden Powell, inspirer of Scouting and a well known "appreciator" of muscular young men, were to show up and volunteer to work with the BSA--how far would HE get?

    Posted by: gregory brown | Apr 25, 2012 4:12:02 PM


  18. Christians are sex obsessed freaks. Apparently when they see two people together they immediately think about how they have sex. Especially when it's two gay people.

    Normal people don't think like that. Especially children. You just tell them that two people spend so much time together, because they love each other. They usually get that.

    Posted by: Steve | Apr 25, 2012 5:13:00 PM


  19. @mary. as long as you don't go "heteroballistic" (my new favorite word, lol) you can stick around as well.

    Posted by: gomez | Apr 25, 2012 6:25:29 PM


  20. I've only seen this mentioned once: IF you want the Boy Scouts to change, hit them where it hurts - their pocketbooks. Insist that your local United Way withhold support until they stop discriminating (the UW has non-discrimination policies in place, but with the BSA seem to ignore them). Call local corporate sponsors, especially ones that are LGBT friendly and complain to them ("I'll stop buying your products and start an online media campaign unless you stop giving to the BSA.") You need the list? They have to supply it, they're a 501(c)3 charity, not a SuperPAC.

    That being said, the BSA is a fine organization at the unit (troop/den/pack) level. Witness the support this mom has received. One step above that at the District level it instantly becomes all about the money. I agree that they are allowed to choose their members and expel you for any or no reason at all. But as was also pointed out above, they are out of step with most of the rest of the world on this, and money is the only way to change it.

    Jay M.

    Posted by: Jay M. | Apr 25, 2012 6:57:40 PM


  21. The only way to "destroy" the Boy Scouts is to offer an alternative, a secular or at least non-denominational program for young men and boys that doesn't have those religion-based rules about specious "moral" issues. Something more along the lines of the GSA or Girls Clubs, which do not discriminate. With an alternative in place then the "market" can decide and parents will have an alternative to the BSA.

    The problem of course is that the BSA has been in existence for 100+ years and is in nearly every community. The current relatively recent Mormon and Catholic leadership and financial control aside, as a "brand" it's been around for a long time and is woven into the fabric of many communities. It would either take a "schism" from the bottom up that broke away from the main BSA or an entirely new group started from scratch.

    The beginning of that schism would have to start with people either refusing to send their children to the BSA or those who are already members protesting loudly. Outside complaint isn't going to effect the situation very much, though taking away any public funds would be a good start.

    Posted by: Caliban | Apr 25, 2012 7:41:18 PM


  22. Boy; Am I glad I was a Scout in the 1930's. My Troop had a "Queer" Patrol. There were eight of us. The other Patrols had a maximum of six Scouts each. At Summer Camp,which was for the whole County of Troops, no one wore bathing suits for swimming during the week when no outside visitors were around.

    Posted by: Jerry6 | Apr 29, 2012 10:46:03 PM


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