Lesbian Pack Leader Kicked Out of Boy Scouts
Recently the Girl Scouts dealt gracefully with the issue of a transgender girl joining a troop. While they said they will determine membership on a case by case basis, the default position is that they will be inclusive and give all girls the opportunity to take part in scouting. They allowed the girl to remain and they stood by their decision against the expected whirlwind of faux controversy.
The Boy Scouts, on the other hand, just kicked a lesbian den mother out solely because of her sexual orientation.
The other parents are not happy about it.
The first-graders in Ohio Pack 109's Tiger Scouts didn't know or care their den mother was a lesbian - at least not until the Boy Scouts of America threw her out over the organization's ban on gays.
Now, parents who were aware of Jennifer Tyrrell's sexual orientation well before she took the boys on campouts and helped them carve race cars for the annual Pinewood Derby have rallied to her defense in a case that has re-ignited the debate over the Scouts' policy.
The Boy Scouts of America, whose oath calls for members to be "morally straight," maintains that as a private organization it has the right to exclude gays and atheists from its ranks.
That stance was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 but has led many state and local governments to deny support for the Scouts.
Male scout leaders who are gay have long been barred, but instances of women being excluded are not well-documented.
Tyrrell said she only reluctantly allowed her 7-year-old son Cruz Burns to join the Scouts in Bridgeport, where she lives with her partner and their four children. Told by the local cub master that it didn't matter that she is a lesbian, she was drafted to lead the pack in September.
Tyrrell told parents at their first meeting about her sexual orientation. Some already knew her because she had coached youth baseball and volunteered at school, organizing class parties and reading to children.
"She wasn't trying to hide anything," said Rob Dunn, whose son is among the dozen or so members of the boys-only pack. "Nobody I know of has ever made a single complaint against her." Scout parents rally around ousted pack leaderThere are two questions here. One is whether the Boy Scouts should be allowed to do this, and the other is whether it is the right thing to do. It appears that the courts have ruled that anti-gay discrimination is permissible, I suppose someone could take it to court but at this time it is a legal thing to do. But what in the world do the Boy Scouts gain by being jerks about this? What message does this send to the boys in the pack? It doesn't make anything better in any way. It appears that these kinds of decisions will only make the Boy Scouts a thing of the past.