Jennifer Tyrrell, the Ohio lesbian mother who was ousted as a den leader from her son’s Tiger Scouts chapter because of the Boy Scouts of America’s antigay policy, says that she was reluctant to have her son join the Boy Scouts initially, but was told “there would be no problems.” Tyrrell, who appeared onstage on Saturday night at the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles with her partner and four children to gather signatures for a petition from celebrities who attended the event, said that the national policy was used against her only when she revealed financial improprieties in the chapter.
“We were reluctant to have him join the Boy Scouts because we were aware of their antigay policy but he seemed really excited about it, so we decided to let him try it,” Tyrrell said, appearing on my SiriusXM radio program last week. “I didn’t necessarily want to be involved in an organization that had those views. I didn’t want my children to be exposed to that particular type of atmosphere. I expressed those concerns on my very first day there. I was told by the cubmaster that there would be no problem, that yes, there is the BSA policy, but that locally everybody would be accepted. And I was accepted by all.”
It was not until she began to question some financial improprieties that she says the national policy, which local chapters may choose to ignore, was used against her.
“I found some financial discrepancies when I took over as treasurer and I feel like this is just a smokescreen to cover that up,” she said. “Several weeks ago our treasurer resigned. He said he didn’t have time. I certainly didn’t want to do it but I love the scouts and was so involved, so I said I’d do it. I got access to the bank account and the information and for weeks I tried to figure out where the money was. We had raised $3000 but I couldn’t imagine where the money was. I got put off by the cubmaster. He kept canceling the meeting. I decided to have a meeting with the parents and show them everything. The cubmaster wasn’t happy. He accused me of taking the money, which I had not.”
Tyrell said the cubmaster then contacted the pastor of the church, informing the pastor that she was a lesbian. The council representative received a call from the pastor, she said, saying Tyrrell was not suitable to be a leader, as a lesbian. The council representative then told Tyrell she had to resign.
“They said very blatantly, this isn’t about her performance, it’s only about her sexual orientation,” Tyrell said, fighting back tears. “Unfortunately, this has affected a lot more than just me. I’m heartbroken. I truly, truly loved scouting. All of my kids are upset. The support has been humbling. The cubmaster resigned because everybody said if the cubmaster remains they will pull their kids from scouts. My son doesn’t understand discrimination. He doesn’t know his family is quote-unquote different. He just knows he has two moms who love him. He’s never been made to feel that that’s wrong. He can’t quite understand everything that’s going on.”
Click here to view the petition in support of Tyrrell here.
Listen to the full interview below:
Take a look at other cases of employees being dismissed for being LGBT below:
A Missouri-based gay music teacher at an area Catholic school was recently dismissed from his job after authorities learned of his plans to wed his male partner of 20 years in New York. Al Fischer was reportedly fired Feb. 17, 2012 from St. Ann Catholic School in north St. Louis County, where he'd worked for four years. Fischer did not comment directly about his dismissal, but instead referred to an email sent to his students' parents after he was terminated. "A family conversation about whether or not justice was served here could be a great thing," he wrote. "I do not want the lesson from this for the kids to be, 'Keep your mouth shut, hide who you are or what you think if it will get you in trouble.'" Fischer's partner, Charlie Robin, told the paper that the couple's relationship was not a secret at the school, and that Fischer was only fired after a representative of the St. Louis Archdiocese overheard him talking to co-workers about his wedding plans. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/29/al-fischer-gay-music-teacher-fired_n_1311324.html" target="_hplink">Read the full story here</a>.