April 26, 2012

Nasty: The Boy Scouts Of America Maintain Their Discriminatory Ways

Jennifer Tyrrell Bridgeport Ohio Accepts Award from GLAAD

BSA Feels The Wrath Of A Wronged Mom - Part 1

An Ohio mom and her 7 year old son were bitch slapped by the Boy Scouts of America. What has this once venerable organization done now?

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Are the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) a modern and progressive organization? Do the Boy Scouts play an integral role in your community? I only ask because I have no idea if the organization is as relevant today, as it was when I was in my youth.

When I was a kid, everyone I knew was in the cub scouts. Mrs. Black was our den mother, and we would meet at her house after school. We would work on our projects, and earn badges for our efforts. We would put our uniforms on, and march together in the Memorial Day parade. It was fun.

Fast forward to 2012, and you might be aware of the plight of the Ohio mom, who was summarily dismissed from her volunteer role as a den mother, by the Boy Scouts of America. Jennifer Tyrrell is a mother of four who lives in Bridgeport, Ohio. Bridgeport is a small town of 1,800 people, and it’s situated on the Ohio River across from Wheeling, West Virginia. The regional leaders of the Boy Scout organization heard that Jennifer was a lesbian, and they dismissed her.

Jennifer was understandably upset, but not as upset as her 7 year old son Cruz, who doesn’t understand discrimination. The community is upset too. LZ Granderson spoke to some of the parents, which he has written about at CNN.com.

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.”

Grandfather Don Thomas: “every cub scout meeting my grandson has attended, also to every function, community event, Salvation Army ringing bells, collection of food for the needy…etc. I do not know where you are getting your information, but never ever has sex been brought up, not in any way shape or form. In fact, I was not aware of Jen even being gay for quite some time…wasn’t an issue or concern.”

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!”

Parent Crystal Sabinsky: ”The boys knew her as Tiger Leader Jen, not Gay Tiger Leader Jen. They are only first graders. Most don’t even understand what ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ mean.”


The big bad BSA released a statement of course:

BSA Spokesman Deron Smith: "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."

Can you believe that an organization that purportedly instills values in our youth today, doesn’t embrace or display the values we want our kids to have?

So I guess I’ve answered my own question. The Boy Scouts of America aren’t modern, progressive, or relevant today. And the BSA can’t “BS” their way out of this one.

There is a petition that I would like you to sign. The Ohio mom needs less than 5,000 signatures to reach her goal. I know that I ask the readers of this blog to sign a lot of petitions, and I only ask because it’s an easy thing to do. You click a link, fill in your email address, and sign.

SIGN THE PETITION




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There is a sidebar to this story, that will be continued in the next post.




straight talk in a queer world.


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