You might know Jennifer Tyrell as the mother from Ohio ousted as den leader of her 7-year-old's Cub Scout pack not because all the other kids were jealous that her son is named Cruz Burns, which is undoubtedly the awesomest name a second grader could have, but because she is a lesbian. She was devastated. Cried for two days, she told CNN back in April.
But then, she got to work. Change.org, the for-profit online petition incubator, sent word this morning that Tyrell has collected more than 300,000 signatures in support of her reinstatement as Bridgeport, Ohio Pack 109 and the end of the Boy Scouts of America's policy of banning gay leaders. And in case you assumed Tyrell's supporters were just ordinary homophiles, Change.org's press release points out the extremely relevant piece of information that "Tyrell's campaign has earned the support of numerous celebrities as well, including Julianne Moore, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Hutcherson, Ricky Martin and others."
Which is great, but the BSA has taken pains to stress that it has no intention of changing its policy of blocking "open or avowed homosexuals" from membership in the organization. Because even though a board member presented a resolution to that effect earlier this year and a BSA spokesperson met with a petitioner opposed to the policy at about the same time, it still believes gay people "engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA."
Still, Tyrell is forging ahead. She'll be in Irving on Wednesday with Cruz to hand-deliver the petition to BSA brass. They will be flanked by cameras and other reporters, because the media loves a good David vs. Goliath story. Especially when David is gay, Goliath is the Boy Scouts, and instead of killing the giant and becoming king of Israel, David is mercilessly ignored.
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