Boy Scouts voting today on gay scout leader ban

Wahls.Zach

Zach Wahls

The Boy Scouts of America will vote today on a policy to repeal its current ban on having openly gay scout leader. Results will be released tonight.

The new policy was approved unanimously earlier this year by its executive committee, headed by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who implemented the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.  The new policy would allow local units to select their own leaders, so church-sponsored groups could continue to discriminate against gays and lesbians in leadership roles. A year ago, a similar policy change allowed gay scouts to remain active until their 18th birthdays.

Zach Wahls, a straight Eagle Scout with two moms who founded Scouts for Equality, said it would be unprecedented for a recommendation by the national executive committee to be turned down.

Still, he called this vote only a partial victory if it passes tonight.

“Any discrimination sends a harmful message to kids,” he said.

—  David Taffet

California judges banned from participating in Boy Scouting

Wahls.Zach

Zach Wahls

This week the California Supreme Court barred the state’s judges from participating in youth groups that discriminate against LGBT people.

The change to the ethics rules prevents judges in California from participating in the Boy Scouts of America, which is based in Irving. BSA changed its policy on gay scouts under the age of 18, but it retains its discriminatory policy on scout leaders.

That standard will be part of this year’s Corporate Equality Index that is prepared by the Human Rights Campaign.

“The Boy Scouts of America’s practice of discrimination in banning LGBT leaders is not just wrong but totally incompatible with professional values of equality, fairness and equal opportunity,” said Deena Fidas, director of HRC Foundation’s Workplace Equality Program, and co-author of the foundation’s annual Corporate Equality Index, in a statement on HRC’s website.

A number of demonstrations in front of Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Irving were, in part, responsible for the change in policy for scouts. Pressure mounted when Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout with two moms who founded Scouts for Equality, got several major corporate donors to drop their support of the organization, because funding a group that discriminates violated their own corporate policies.

The CEI’s new policy may encourage additional companies with otherwise perfect scores to stop funding the Boy Scouts.

—  David Taffet

WATCH: Emotional reaction to Boy Scouts’ decision to lift ban on gay youth

BANNER.Tyrrell.JenniferWEB

Ousted lesbian den mother Jennifer Tyrrell hugs her son Cruz after learning the results of the Boy Scouts vote to allow gay youth. (Anna Waugh/Dallas Voice)

It was a touching scene in Grapevine Thursday when LGBT advocates who’ve worked for inclusion in the Boy Scouts were able to celebrate the victory of coming closer to their goal.

The BSA will begin allowing openly gay Scouts in January, but the ban on gay leaders will remain in place.

Those who’ve fought for full inclusion said they’re focus will remain on the Scouts until all gays are welcome in the organization.

Former den mother Jennifer Tyrrell said that in a year the American people were able to tell the BSA that they wanted the policy to change, so she has hope that the voices of allies will continue to be heard in the future.

Watch the video below.

—  Dallasvoice

Zach Wahls, his moms on parenting forum today

Last winter, I posted a link to this video of 19-year-old Zach Wahls, who spoke persuasively about having gay parents. Since it went viral, Zach has written a book called My Two Moms about his family and has become something of a celebrity.

Today at 1:30 p.m. Central, Zach and his moms with participate in an online forum with In the Life Media about gay parenting. You can access it by going to the website here, or watch the video below to see what you might be missing.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: This 19-year-old Iowan (yes, 19!) speak about his lesbian moms

You may have seen this, as it’s been making the rounds on Facebook since yesterday, but if not here’s your chance. Watch Zach Wahls, a 19-year-old Iowa Democrat, talk about his lesbian moms in front of lawmakers. He could become this year’s Joel Burns.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones