Zach Wahls, the viral-video star turned activist and author, is heading over to the Boy Scouts of America conference in Orlando today to deliver a Change.org petition for the organization to end its ban on gay members and leaders. More than 280,000 people have signed the request.
Wahls, an Eagle Scout, came to the forefront of the gay-equality fight when he spoke before the Iowa House of Representatives last year about his two moms and the need for civil unions. The petition was started by lesbian mom Jennifer Tyrrell (right, with Wahls) after she was ousted as a BSA troop leader in April.
“I think it’s a lot closer than people might expect,” Wahls said. “It’s very clear that there’s a lot of support even within the Boy Scouts of America … What we’re trying to do is make sure we give them some real credence so they know that they have external support, that there are a lot people that have their back when it comes to actually changing this policy from a national perspective.
Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock told the Associated Press last week that the BSA has “no plans to revisit the Scouts’ policy of not allowing gays.”
Boy Scouts spokesman Deron Smith released the following statement:
“Scouting values the freedom of everyone to express their opinion and teaches its members to treat everyone with courtesy and respect at all times. The BSA sets polices that are best for its organization and membership. The BSA welcomes all who share its beliefs but does not criticize or condemn those who wish to follow a different path.”
Is there a merit badge for blowing smoke up our asses?