Earlier today Change.org made an announcement that Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T and an executive board member of the Boy Scouts of America would be joining fellow Board member James Turley, CEO of Ernst & Young to help change the current Boy Scouts of America policy that bans gay scouts and leaders.
According to reporter David Taffet of the Dallas Voice, “Stephenson’s spokesman, Marty Richter told Dallas Voice he’s committed to changing the policy... Richter said he believes Turley will lead the effort to make the Boy Scouts inclusive with Stephenson’s full support.”
Stephenson’s spokesperson went on record with this commitment after Jennifer Tyrrell, a gay mom from Bridgeport, Ohio who was ousted as her son’s den leader in April of this year, started a petition on Change.org calling for an end to the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay troops and leaders, which has attracted more than 300,000 signatures. In June 2012, Tyrrell began a second petition on Change.org calling on Stephenson to work to end it. More than 75,000 people have signed it to date.
According to Tyrrell, “All I’m asking for is the opportunity to meet with a Boy Scouts official and resume my post as den leader of my son’s Cub Scout Pack -- a post that was taken from me as a result of a discriminatory policy that’s unpopular with Boy Scouts and leaders across the country,” said Tyrrell. “I hope they’ll listen to my story and the stories of hundreds of thousands who have signed my Change.org petitions.”
Now it looks as though that meeting will not take place and that Stephenson and Turley will have their work cut out for them. The Boy Scouts of America has released a statement today affirming their policy on banning gay scouts and leaders.
Said Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign, “This is a missed opportunity of colossal proportions. With the country moving toward inclusion, the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have instead sent a message to young people that only some of them are valued. These adults could have taught the next generation of leaders the value of respect, yet they’ve chosen to teach division and intolerance.”
Stay tuned, it seems like this story is not going to go away.
The author is solely responsible for the content.