Today the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board will begin discussing a proposed policy change to allow local troops to decide to let in gay Scouts and leaders.
A decision on whether remove the national gay ban is expected Wednesday.
Lesbian former den mother Jennifer Tyrrell will be at the Scouts’ Irving headquarters at 11 a.m. to deliver petitions started by her, gay Eagle Scout Will Oliver, gay former Scoutmaster Greg Bourke, and Eric Andresen, father of a gay Scout denied his Eagle Award. The petitions have garnered 1.4 million combined signatures.
The issue has brought about heated debates on both sides as some people are against the decision while others think it doesn’t go far enough. The Human Rights Campaign took out a full-page ad in today’s Dallas Morning News, above, encouraging the board to go beyond removing the no-gays requirement and adding a national nondiscrimination policy.
Gov. Rick Perry chimed in this weekend while addressing hundreds of Scouts at the state House during the Texas Scouts’ 64th annual Report to State.
Perry, an Eagle Scout, told reporters his views on homosexuality haven’t changed his writing his book, On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For, and hoped the national position would remain the same.
“Hopefully the board will follow their historic position of keeping the Scouts strongly supportive of the values that make scouting this very important and impactful organization,” Perry said.
President Barack Obama also spoke about the issue during a pre-Super Bowl interview, calling scouting a “great institution” that should welcome gay members and leaders. He said the organization provided youth with lifelong leadership and character building training and “no one should be barred from that.”
Watch the clip of Obama below.