Boy Scouts Boot Lesbian Den Leader

Jennifer Tyrrell launches petition for policy shift
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 27, 2012 9:24 AM CDT
This Wednesday, April 25, 2012 photo shows Jennifer Tyrrell and her son Cruz Burns, 7.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

(Newser) – Earlier this month, a Cub Scout den leader and mom was removed from her post because she's gay. Now she has launched a campaign to change the organization's policy. When Jennifer Tyrrell became a leader in Bridgeport, Ohio, she was aware of the Boy Scouts' rules against openly-homosexual members, but a Cubmaster told her it wouldn't be an issue at the local level. "He said they would stand hand in hand with us and stand behind us all the way," she tells MSNBC.

While "that's been true," she says, the national organization apparently felt differently. "Scouting, and the majority of parents it serves, does not believe it is the right forum for children to become aware of the issue of sexual orientation, or engage in discussions about being gay," says a rep. But Tyrrell says there was no such discussion; the boys just knew her son had two moms. Tyrrell has since held a protest and started an online campaign to change the policy; so far, she's gotten 170,000 signatures. "She wasn't trying to hide anything," a dad says. "Nobody I know of has ever made a single complaint against her." The AP has more local reaction.

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