The Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday
reaffirmed its policy of excluding openly gay scouts and leaders.
The organization said it was upholding
the policy after conducting a confidential two-year review.
Deron Smith, the Scouts' national
spokesman, told the AP that an 11-member committee concluded that the
gay ban is “absolutely the best policy” for the organization.
“The vast majority of the parents of
youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex
orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers and at the
appropriate time and in the right setting,” Bob Mazzuca, the
organization's chief executive. “We fully understand that no
single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our
membership or society.”
Jennifer Tyrrell launched a Change.org
petition to bring awareness of the policy after she was ousted as den
leader of her son's Boy Scout troop because she's a lesbian. Tyrrell
was expected to deliver 300,000 petition signatures to the Boy Scouts
of America's national headquarters in Dallas on Wednesday.
“A secret committee of 11 people
can't ignore the hundreds of thousands of people around the country –
including thousands of Eagle Scouts, scout families, and former
scouts – that want the ban on gay scouts and scout leaders
Tyrrell. “This campaign doesn't stop, and we will continue to
show the Boy Scouts that discrimination and intolerance have no place
in scouting. On Wednesday, I look forward to sharing with the BSA
thousands of comments from families like mine that say the time is
now to end this anti-gay policy.”
Two members of the national executive
board – Ernst & Young CEO James Turley and AT&T CEO Randall
Stephenson – have publicly announced they would try to work from
within to change the policy.