Boy Scouts Remove Lesbian Leader

Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 2:28pm

Protesters gathered in front of a Bridgeport, Ohio church Tuesday to let their local Boy Scout leaders know how they felt about a controversial decision.

The controversy began just last week when a Tiger Scout leader had her membership revoked due to her sexual orientation.

Jennifer Tyrrell said she was the den leader for Pack 109's Tiger Scouts for a year before her orientation became an issue.

Tyrrell is homosexual and said she was hesitant to take the position in the first place.

The Boy Scouts of America has a strict policy when it comes to sexual orientation and membership.

"We do not grant membership to individuals who are opened or avowed homosexuals," said Bob Drury.

Drury is the scout executive for the Ohio River Valley.

Drury said there was no decision to be made, the policy is very clear.

"The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to develop character and leadership skills and the youth of today to become leaders of tomorrow," Drury said. "Anything that distracts from that mission distracts from what our program is."

But parents don't feel like Tyrrell was a distraction.

In fact they never had an issue with her sexual orientation.

"It was never an issue because we judge people by their actions and she's done a really good job with the kids, a lot better than the leaders in the past, and it has nothing to do with her sexuality at all," said Rob Donn, a parent.

Tyrrell said her biggest concern is the boys.

"My biggest concern is that the children will think that I abandoned them because they don't understand," she said.

Tyrrell said she doesn't feel that this is a good lesson for the boys, but leaders said there isn't anything they can do.

They claim they would never have allowed her to become a den leader had they known of her sexual orientation a year ago.

Even though they revoked her membership, local leaders said it in no way reflects how well she did with the children or how effective she was as a leader.

They said it is solely based on her sexual orientation.

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