“I feel that all people should be allowed to participate in the Boy Scouts, regardless of their sexual orientation,” Romney said in a televised debate.
“I support the right of the Boy Scouts of America to decide what it wants to do on that issue.”
An Ohio mom who was recently booted from the Boy Scouts over her sexual orientation hopes that Romney’s 1994 words can help her and others who have been booted from the organization over sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation.
Jennifer Tyrrell was kicked from the Boy Scouts after a year of serving as her son’s den leader, she alleges. She’s gone on to create a petition on Change.org calling on the Boy Scouts of America to reconsider its policy toward gay scouts and gay leaders. So far, some 260,000 people, including thousands of former Scouts, have signed the petition.
Tyrell writes in the petition:
“It is time for the Boy Scouts of America to reconsider its policy of exclusivity against gay youth and leaders. Please sign this petition to call for an end of discrimination in an organization that is shaping the future.”
Now, Tyrell is using Romney’s 1994 words to bolster her call-to-action.
“I’m very happy to hear that Mitt Romney expressed support in 1994 for the participation of my family, and families like mine, in the Boy Scouts of America. I hope he still feels that gay and lesbian people should be allowed in the Boy Scouts in 2012,” said Tyrrell in a statement released Monday.
“I think President Obama should also let the public know what he thinks about a cultural institution like the Boy Scouts banning gay Americans,” she added.
Top photo: Jennifer Tyrrell (left) created a petition on Change.org to call attention to her removal from the Boy Scouts over her sexual orientation (via Change.org)