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In January 2011, then 19-year old Zach Wahls spoke before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee ahead of a vote that would have repealed same-sex marriage in the state. A video of his speech was uploaded to YouTube that evening, and in the hours and days that followed, Wahls found himself thrust into the national gay rights debate.
Wahls has since worked on gay acceptance in the Boy Scouts of America and has toured the country, speaking to students in colleges and high schools. He's also written a New York Times bestseller, “My Two Moms,” which brings him to Atlanta for a June 27 reading at the Friends School, sponsored by Charis Books & More and Atlanta Pride.
GA Voice spoke with Wahls about growing up with two moms, his goals and aspirations for the future, and why it's important to put the toilet seat down.
Iowan thrust into national spotlight after viral video brings memoir to Atlanta today
The Boy Scouts of America emailed members and parents over the weekend asking their thoughts on the organization's ongoing gay ban, the LGBT news outlet Dallas Voice reported yesterday.
From the Dallas Voice:
“The Boy Scouts of America is in the process of a careful and deliberate review of our membership policy, as it relates to the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation,” the BSA wrote in an email announcing the survey. “We are dedicated to the integrity of this process. In an effort to listen to our members’ perspectives and concerns, we ask you to answer some questions about this topic and about your overall Scouting experiences.”
Not even a recent statement of support made by President Barack Obama could persuade the Boy Scouts of America's board of directors today to lift the ban on openly gay scouts and organization leaders.
BSA announced last week that it would take up the issue at its next board meeting. A statement from the BSA released last week signaled a willingness to lift a ban on gay scouts, but such a ban continues.
“After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy,” the organization said via a prepared statement after their Board meeting concluded.
Pressure is ramping up on the Boy Scouts of America to allow openly gay scouts and adult leaders to participate in the organization.
Today, four former leaders and scouts delivered 1.4 million signatures from four separate petitions calling on the organization to allow openly gay members.
“Today, I’m helping deliver more than 1.4 million Change.org petition signatures to the Boy Scouts of America, urging the national board to end the ban on gay youth and parents and give me the opportunity to once again serve my son’s Cub Scout Pack," Jennifer Tyrrell said via a prepared statement released to media.