AT&T's Stephenson, Ernst & Young's Turley
Boy Scout Fight Moves to the Board Room

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com June 13 2012 12:26 PM ET

The fight over whether the Boy Scouts should allow openly gay troops and leaders is moving to the boardroom.

The CEOs of AT&T and Ernst & Young are both on the board for the Boy Scouts, and lesbian mom Jennifer Tyrrell who was kicked out as den leader for her son's cub scout troop recently launched a petition highlighting that fact.

CNBC reports that Ernst & Young CEO James Turley has already issued a statement saying he would welcome a change in policy, while MSNBC reports that AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has issued a less clear statement.

“As CEO, I know that having an inclusive culture produces the best results, is the right thing for our people and makes us a better organization," said Turley in a statement, which is being highlighted by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. "My experience has led me to believe that an inclusive environment is important throughout our society and I am proud to be a leader on this issue. I support the meaningful work of the Boy Scouts in preparing young people for adventure, leadership, learning and service, however the membership policy is not one I would personally endorse. As I have done in leading Ernst & Young to being a most inclusive organization, I intend to continue to work from within the BSA Board to actively encourage dialogue and sustainable progress.”

Striking a similar chord without endorsing a change in policy, AT&T's Stephenson said, "“We don’t agree with every policy of every organization we support, nor would we expect them to agree with us on everything. Our belief is that change at any organization must come from within to be successful and sustainable."

News broke earlier this month that the Boy Scouts are considering a change in policy, although a spokesman for the organization downplayed that possibility, saying the group had examined similar resolutions in the past.