Jennifer Tyrrell has spent a year working for the Boy Scouts of America in Bridgeport, Ohio, as den leader to her son's Cub Scout group. She was recently made treasurer, and after discovering what she's calling "inconsistencies in the pack's finances" she was promptly let go, with the organization citing her sexuality as the reason.
Jennifer, who has teamed up with GLAAD, joined a peaceful protest outside the local Boy Scouts of America, which drew supportive parents and Scouts from the troop. She has also started a petition, hoping to stop BSA's pattern of discrimination against the queer community.
Here's what she had to say about her experience with the Scouts and her firing:
"I was recently removed from this volunteer position, and my membership was revoked after nearly a year of service—just because I happen to be gay. Shortly after registering my son for Cub Scouts, I was asked to assume the role of den leader and was persuaded by a platform of tolerance, acceptance and support. Throughout the year, my cubs performed volunteer service at a local soup kitchen, collected canned goods for area churches to distribute in food baskets, participated in bell-ringing for the Salvation Army, and, at the time of my removal, were working on a conservation project for a state park.
My Tiger Cubs earned multiple Scout badges for service and skills, while learning and exercising the 12 Core Values of Scouting: citizenship, compassion, cooperation, courage, faith, health & fitness, honesty, perseverance, positive attitude, resourcefulness, respect, and responsibility.
The revocation of my membership came shortly after I was elected treasurer of my pack and uncovered some inconsistencies in the pack’s finances. Within a week of reporting these findings to the council, I received notice that my membership had been revoked, based on my sexual orientation, citing that due to being gay, I did “not meet the high standards of membership that the BSA seeks.”