By Scouts for Equality
Scouts for Equality, GLAAD and the Inclusive Scouting Network Applaud the Boy Scouts of America for Passage of Non-Discrimination Resolution
On 23, May 2013 | In Campaign News | By Scouts for Equality
Landmark Resolution Ends Discrimination of Gay Scouts
Groups Encourage Boy Scouts to Expand Resolution to End Discrimination of Adults
May 23, 2013 (USA) – Today, Scouts for Equality (SfE), GLAAD and the Inclusive Scouting Network (ISN) applauded the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for the passage of the historic non-discrimination resolution that will end the discrimination of gay Scouts. This landmark resolution eliminates the longstanding policy that prohibits openly gay Scouts from participating in the Boy Scouts and has forced thousands of exceptional young men to stay out of the Scouts.
“Today’s vote ending discrimination of gay Scouts is truly a historic moment and demonstrates the Boy Scouts of America’s commitment to creating a more inclusive organization,” said Zach Wahls, Eagle Scout and Founder of Scouts for Equality. “Scouts for Equality is honored to be a part of the movement that has achieved a tremendous victory towards the fight for equality in America and we are proud to call ourselves Scouts. We look forward to the day where we can celebrate inclusion of all members and are committed to continuing our work until that occurs.”
Of the 1,400 voting members, over 60% voted in support of the proposed resolution. At the Equal Scouting Summit, being held directly across from the BSA National Meeting in Grapevine, members of SfE, ISN and GLAAD celebrated this historic victory while calling for equality for all.
“Today’s vote is a significant victory for gay youth across the nation and a clear indication that the Boy Scouts ban on gay adult leaders will also inevitably end,” said GLAAD spokesperson Rich Ferraro. “The Boy Scouts of America heard from religious leaders, corporate sponsors and so many Scouting families who want an end to discrimination against gay people, and GLAAD will continue this work with those committed to equality in Scouting until gay parents and adults are able to participate.”
Since its founding in 2012, SfE has worked with GLAAD, ISN and many others to generate support for the ending of discrimination by the BSA of its gay members and leaders. Over 17,000* people, including over 7,000 Eagle Scouts, from across the country have joined SfE and working together with partner organizations GLAAD, ISN and the Human Rights Campaign have collected almost 2 million* Change.org petition signatures supporting the elimination of this ban.
“Today’s decision by the BSA is an important step forward but is just one small step in a much longer journey for Scouting,” said Mark Noel, Founder of the Inclusive Scouting Network. “Supporters of inclusive Scouting will not rest until this institution is safe and equal for all people. Discrimination on any level is unacceptable.”
Additional quotes from Scouts and Scout Leaders Who Launched Change.org Petitions
“When I was kicked out of the Boy Scouts last April, I was devastated.” said Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell, who in April 2012, alongside GLAAD, reignited a national conversation about discrimination in Scouting after she was ousted as leader of her son’s Cub Scout pack because she’s gay. “Having to look my son, Cruz, in the eye and tell him that our family isn’t good enough was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Today is truly a watershed moment for me, but even more so for the millions of kids across this country, who will now be allowed to serve in the Scouts without fear of rejection. I’m so proud of how far we’ve come, but until there’s a place for everyone in Scouting, my work will continue.”
“Just a few hours ago, I was thinking that today could be my last day as a Boy Scout. Obviously, for gay Scouts like me, this vote is life-changing,” said Pascal Tessier, whose petition on Change.org received more than 128,000 signatures. “Like my brother before me, I now have a chance to earn my Eagle award — something that’s taken most of my life to achieve. Finally, Scouts are no longer forced to choose between upholding the Scout Oath and being open and honest about who they really are as a person.”
“This is an historic day in the 103-year history of the Boy Scouts of America — the day it finally found its moral compass and started down the long trail to equality in Scouting, say Greg Bourke, who launched his petition on Change.org. “It is definite progress, but even with this approved membership change, gay adults like Jennifer Tyrrell and myself will continue to be banned from serving in the Scouts, even in units with our own children. There is no other word for that except discrimination.”
“What started as a Change.org petition launched by a rejected lesbian den mother from Ohio has transformed into a movement of Scouts and Scout leaders who have inspired more than 1.8 million signatures calling for change,” said Mark Anthony Dingbaum, senior campaign manager at Change.org. “While today’s vote is a historic win for Scouts across the country, it’s also a testament to the incredible power everyday people have when personal stories are paired with innovative online organizing.”
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