By Diane Anderson-Minshall
Originally published on Advocate.com March 05 2013 11:41 AM ET
Pop music sensation Carly Rae Jepsen announced today that she will withdraw as headliner of the Boy Scouts' annual national jamboree, saying the group conflicts with her support of "equality for all people."
The announcement follows a campaign launched by GLAAD and Eagle Scout Derek Nance, whose Change.org petition has amassed over 62,000 signatures and called on the "Call Me Maybe" singer to denounce the Boy Scouts' ban on gay scouts and leaders.
In a series of tweets, Jepsen wrote, "As an artist who believes in equality for all people, I will not be participating in the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree this summer. ... I always have and will continue to support the LGBT community on a global level ... and stay informed on the ever changing landscape in the ongoing battle for gay rights in this country and across the globe."
GLAAD has been leading a campaign with groups like Scouts for Equality to call on the BSA to adopt a national nondiscrimination policy that would end the BSA's practice of ejecting gay youth and adults.
On Friday, the Grammy Award-winning band Train announced that the group would only perform at the jamboree if the Boy Scouts ends its ban on gay scouts and scout leaders.
"When we booked this show for the Boy Scouts of America we were not aware of any policy barring openly gay people from participation within the organization," Train said in a statement. "Train strongly opposes any kind of policy that questions the equality of any American citizen. We have always seen the BSA as a great and noble organization. We look forward to participating in the Jamboree this summer, as long as they make the right decision before then."
“No fair-minded media outlet, corporation or celebrity will want to partner with the BSA as long as the organization puts discrimination and anti-gay bias before the needs of young people,” said Rich Ferraro, GLAAD's vice president of communications. "GLAAD will continue to call for partners of the BSA to speak out against the antigay ban until the BSA puts Scouting first and adopts a national nondiscrimination policy. Carly Rae Jepsen and Train's decisions not only send the right message to the BSA, but remind LGBT young people that they are supported and accepted."
Jepsen and Train had originally planned to perform at the BSA's 2013 National Scout Jamboree as the respective opening and closing show headliners. Since both artists have shown support for the LGBT community in the past, many found their agreement to play a show for this anti-LGBT organization disappointing. Now LGBT fans can go out and sing loud with Jepsen and Train again.
The Scouts issued a brief statement in response to the loss of the headliners.
“We appreciate everyone’s right to express an opinion," it said, "and remain focused on delivering a great jamboree program for our Scouts.”