Carly Rae Jepsen, the singer known for the catchy pop tune “Call Me Maybe,” announced Tuesday via Twitter she will not perform for the Boy Scouts based on the non-profit youth organization’s ban on gay members and volunteers.
“As an artist who believes in equality for all people, I will not be participating in the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree this summer,” Jepsen tweeted.
Jepsen and rock band Train were scheduled to headline the 2013 National Scouting Jamboree, set for July 15-24 at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia.
Train announced last week its members also would not perform as long as the anti-gay policy remains in place.
“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,” the group said, according to a press release from the online petition site Change.org.
Derek Nance, a gay Eagle Scout, posted Change.org petitions asking Jepsen and Train not to perform at the Jamboree. As of this morning, the Jepsen petition had 63,464 supporters.
“After serving 10 years as a Boy Scout camp leader, I decided I couldn’t lie about who I was any longer and came out as gay. Now, because of the Boy Scouts of America’s hurtful anti-gay policy I’m no longer allowed to be part of an organization that has been an instrumental part of my life,” Nance said in letter that accompanied the petition.
“Projected attendance for the 2013 National Scouting Jamboree is over 50,000 Boy Scouts, Venturers, volunteers and staff. Among those 50,000 are countless LGBT young people who are forced to hide who they really are, in fear of being kicked out of the organization they love,” Nance continued. “This has to change.”
After years of defending the ban on gay Scout member, leaders and volunteers, the Boy Scouts of America suggested earlier this year that they were considering moving to a policy that would allow individual scout groups to set their own membership policies.
However, the BSA board then announced that “the organization needs more time for a deliberate review of its policy” and it would form a task force to study the issue; the topic could be discussed again in May.
“A Scout is brave, and I’m thrilled that Carly Rae and Train have joined me in standing up for what is right. I hope the Boy Scouts of America also choose to be brave this May,” Nance said in the press release from Change.org.
According to Change.org, more than 1.5 million signatures have been collected via some 140 petitions on the site targeting the Boy Scouts’ gay ban. You can view the petitions here.