US: Dismissed lesbian den mother takes petition to Scouts
A den mother dismissed by the Boy Scouts of America because she is a lesbian has taken a 300,000 signature petition to the organisation’s headquarters.
Jennifer Tyrrell, who was the leader of a Bridgeport, Ohio, Tiger Cub den, was dismissed in April. She had been den mother for the group for a year, taking the position when her seven-year-old son Cruz joined.
Ms Tyrrell says a local Cubmaster knew of her sexual orientation and assured her it would not be a problem when she joined.
The Boy Scouts of America bans gay members, volunteers and staff.
As a private organisation, the organisation has adopted positions since 1991 which state that homosexuality is “inconsistent with the Scout Oath that a Scout be morally straight and in the Scout Law that a Scout be clean in word and deed”.
This week, it confirmed it would retain its ban on homosexuality.
Delivering the Change.org petition, Ms Tyrrell told CNN: “Along with those 300,000 signatures were tens of thousands of comments from scouts – current scouts, former scouts, across the board – who disagree with the decision to keep this policy in place.”
She added: “I don’t think it was their intention to personally disrespect me. Unfortunately, it’s just a policy that we need to update a little bit.
“I love Scouts as everybody probably knows by now. Cruz loves Scouts and we don’t have any ill feeling toward the Scouts. We just wanted to be included.”