Advocates for LGBTs in Scouting (clockwise from top left): Jennifer Tyrrell with son Cruz, Greg Bourke with a scout, Zach Wahls, Ryan Andresen
Pro-LGBT Petitioners to Converge on Boy Scout HQ Monday

By Trudy Ring

Originally published on Advocate.com February 01 2013 3:39 PM ET

A group of LGBT advocates will visit the Boy Scouts of America’s headquarters Monday with petitions bearing 1.4 million signatures urging the BSA to drop its ban on gay scouts and leaders.

Delivering the Change.org petitions to the headquarters in Irving, Texas (near Dallas), at 11 a.m. will be Jennifer Tyrrell, an Ohio mom who was ousted as den leader of her 7-year-old son’s Cub Scout pack for being gay; Will Oliver, a gay Eagle Scout; Greg Bourke, who was removed as den leader of his son’s Boy Scout troop because he’s gay; and Eric Andresen, father of gay Boy Scout Ryan Andresen, who was denied his Eagle Award. All four will read short statements at the petition delivery and take questions from reporters.

“Jennifer Tyrrell, Will Oliver, Greg Bourke, and the Andresen family have proven that long-standing institutions of discrimination are no match for cutting-edge online tools and powerful storytelling,” said Mark Anthony Dingbaum, senior campaign manager at Change.org, in a press release. Zach Wahls, founder of petition sponsor Scouts for Equality, predicted a “historic day for Scouting.”

The BSA’s national board is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a proposal to replace the gay ban with a policy that would allow local troop sponsors to decide whether to admit gay members.

To see or sign the Change.org petition, click here.