Supporters of lifting the ban on gay youth in the Boy Scouts will convene today for the first day of a three-day Equal Scouting Summit in Grapevine.
At noon, Eagle Scout Dave McGrath and his son will arrive at the Great Wolf Lodge, 100 Great Wolf Drive, completing their 1,800 mile Bike for Equality campaign that began when they left Idaho Falls on May 3.
McGrath, Scouts for Equality founder Zach Wahls and Inclusive Scouting Network founder Mark Noel will address the audience.
Gay Scouts and leaders will then speak, including former Ohio den mother Jennifer Tyrrell, gay Eagle Scout Will Oliver, Greg Bourke, a gay dad removed from his position as Scoutmaster with his son’s troop, and Pascal Tessier, a gay Boy Scout who was told he would not be eligible to earn the Eagle award his older brother received.
Events for the summit will take place today at the Great Wolf Lodge in Fallen Timber A Meeting Room. They are expected to conclude around 2 p.m.
Across the street at the Gaylord Texan, where the roughly 1,400 members of the BSA’s National Council will vote on the resolution tomorrow, opponents of allowing gays Scouts will protest at Texas Values’ Save Our Scouts rally from noon to 4 p.m.
Dallas Voice will be in Grapevine to capture all the excitement and will be tweeting live from the press conferences and rally. Follow us on Twitter here.
Yesterday 20 members of Congress signed a letter supporting the resolution to welcome gay youth into the BSA. Among them was Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth.
“As part of its mission, the BSA seeks to instill traditionally American values of tolerance, acceptance and inclusion of others in youth scouts in preparation for the responsibilities of citizenship,” the letter reads in part. “Today, BSA has a policy that excludes gay Scouts and Scout leaders from participating. This is counter to BSA’s mission to teach our youth to combat discrimination. We are pleased to learn that the National Council will soon take up a resolution at the May 22nd meeting to update its membership standards policy. We strongly urge the BSA to pass the proposed resolution to end discrimination against gay youth.”
Read the full letter here.