Eagle Scout Zach Wahls delivered more than 275,000 signatures to the National Annual Meeting of the Boy Scouts of America from a popular petition on Change.org, calling on the Boy Scouts to reinstate a lesbian den leader in Ohio who was removed from her position because of her sexual orientation, and to end their long-held policy barring openly gay scouts and scout leaders.
After delivering the signatures, Wahls met briefly with Deron Smith, Public Relation Director with the Boy Scouts of America’s national office.
“While today's meeting was productive and thoughtful, the delivery of these petitions marks the beginning of this journey, not the end,” said Wahls. “I thought our dialogue today was an honest one, and I'm looking forward to continuing the conversation in the months ahead. We leave today one step closer to religious and personal freedom than when we arrived, and it's hard to be anything but thrilled about that."
Wahls, the author of My Two Moms and whose online video in support of his two gay moms went viral last year, delivered the signatures on behalf of Jennifer Tyrrell, a lesbian mom who was removed as den leader of her 7-year-old son’s Cub Scout troop in Ohio last month. After being removed from her position, Tyrrell started a petition on Change.org asking to be reinstated, and urging the Boy Scouts to stop dividing families and communities with a policy that excludes gay familes, scouts and leaders.
“I am so grateful for the support I’ve received from Zach and from the thousands of scouts, scout leaders and former scouts who have signed my petition,” said Tyrrell. “If you look at the petition comments, and read through the thousands of entries left by current scouts and scout leaders, it’s clear that the energy within the Boy Scouts of America’s membership is there to change this policy. All it takes now is leadership.”
Tyrrell will be appear this Saturday at the GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco, where she will be joined by Wahls. Tyrrell’s petition on Change.org has also earned the support of scores of celebrities, with musician and actress Kat Graham dedicating her performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show this week to Tyrrell and all gay scouts and scout leaders.
Other major celebrities endorsing Tyrrell’s campaign include Julianne Moore, Josh Hutcherson, Benicio Del Toro, Kelly Osbourne, Fran Drescher, Ricky Martin, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jane Leeves and more.