Gay rights activist Zach Wahls has
formed a new group to lobby the Boy Scouts of America to drop its ban
on openly gay membership.
Wahls delivered a petition signed by
275,000 people calling on the group to reinstate Jennifer Tyrrell,
the 32-year-old Ohio mom who in April was ousted as den leader of her
son's Boy Scout troop because she is a lesbian. She launched the
Change.org campaign to bring awareness of the Boy Scouts' policy
banning openly gay scouts and leaders.
A resolution which would allow
individual charter organizations to decide for themselves whether to
accept openly gay members and leaders was introduced last week.
Spokesman Deron Smith, however, warned
that the “introduction of a resolution does not indicate the
organization is 'reviewing' a policy or signal a change in
Wahls, an Eagle Scout, has launched
for Equality to lobby the group to approve the proposal.
In an interview with progressive blog
Progress, Wahls said he did not believe the Boy Scouts' move was
a public relations ploy.
“It's not a smokescreen,” he said.
“This proposal was made after Jen Tyrrell's petition on Change.org.
So even though this has been brought up in the past, it's never
gotten nearly the level of attention that it has today.”
Wahls said Scouts for Equality would be
working with Eagle Scouts and former scout leader to promote passage
of the resolution.
“[W]e're really going to work toward
making this policy change,” he said. (The video is embedded in the
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