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April 25th, 2012
05:00 AM ET

Opinion: Boy Scouts feel a mother's wrath

Editor's note: LZ Granderson, who writes a weekly column for CNN.com, was named journalist of the year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and a 2011 Online Journalism Award finalist for commentary. He is a senior writer and columnist for ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter: @locs_n_laughs Watch him on Tuesdays on CNN Newsroom in the 9 am ET hour.

By LZ Granderson, CNN Contributor

(CNN) - Jennifer Tyrrell dislikes public speaking so much that when she was in high school, she almost failed marketing because she didn't want to speak in front of the class.

But when the Boy Scouts of America made a decision that hurt her little boy Cruz, she did what any mother would do - set aside her own fear, spoke up and, with the help of family and friends, is fighting back.

"I've never been involved with any kind of activism or anything like that before, so this is all new to me," the mother of four said. "All I know is this has got to stop."

And by "this," she is referring to the Boy Scouts' policy of banning gays and lesbians from being members or serving as leaders. Earlier this month Tyrrell was forced to resign as den leader of the Tiger Cubs for Pack 109 in Bridgeport, Ohio, because the national office learned she is a lesbian. So even though everyone in the local chapter loved her, she was forced out by the discrimination that is woven into the organization's bylaws.

The cubs of Pack 109 are upset.

Read LZ Granderson's full column 

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Filed under: Family • Sexual orientation • What we think
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Retreat Hell

    The funny part is she was den mother for about a year didn't know she was a lesbian. The second they learned she was outta there!

    April 26, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ma & pa

    And, yes, some people are "born that way". Want to be let be, like al of us. But what's lurking behind these "poster chidren" are those with an agenda meant to subjugate us "breeders", as they refer to us.

    April 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. William Wilberforce

    Who cares,really?

    April 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ma & pa

    hamsta, you got that right.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nevis Mn

    BSA and GSA may be private organizations but they regularly use public facilities, mostly schools. So they do in fact benefit from federal, state and local resources.

    April 25, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike3316

      That is true, however, the Supreme Court did rule that equal access applies to the BSA just as much as their right of association which permits them to establish membership requirements.

      April 25, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    No where in this article does it say that this woman ever did anything inappropriate with these children. Being gay doesn't automatically make you a pedophile.

    April 25, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bwhitten

    I can assure you that the Scouts are NOT feeling anyone's wrath.

    April 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robairdo

      They will the polls are consistently moving in the direction of equality and against discrimination.

      April 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      You hit it on the head bwhitten. These few eagle scouts that are returning their badges is a very, very small portion of those that have kept their badges and agree with the BSA position. This is a private organization and they can do what they want. If the gays want thir own organization start one up!

      August 13, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. erik60505

    Religious Cults should keep to themselves and not appear in public. They are all about hate. Every religion. Funny thing is that is not how any of their gods act. There will never be world peace when religion exists.

    April 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • mayflower

      Because only people who agree with your belief system and point of view have the right to free speech? That sounds dangerously similar to censorship. When will people learn that freedom of speech applies to everyone?

      April 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Miike

        Freedom of speech allows for discrimination?

        April 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sorel

      The Boy Scouts are not a religion. It is not just the BSA organization that made this decision. Most parents of young boys prefer to keep it a straight organization. If other groups want to start youth groups for gay boys or girls, they can do so, no law prevents it. Go for it!

      April 26, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. A Matter of freedom

    The Boy Scouts (and Girl Scouts) is a PRIVATE organization and as such, they have the right to include or exclude whom they wish. As long as they aren't being supported in any way by the federal or state government. It seems unfair, but participation is not a right, it is by invitation. You wouldn't wish for the government to tell your church who can join and who cannot and force you to allow people to join. If you had a private club of your own, the same would apply. Scouting is like a club. If you don't like the message they are espousing, you simply refuse to participate.

    April 25, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • StarkConnie

      You've missed the point of the story. She was already a part of the organization and was sending out the "correct scout message". But when the scouting hierarchy discovered she is gay, scouting determined she was not worthy to send out their message. Not because she did anything wrong; because she is who she is. Pure rank discrimination.

      April 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • darthwong

      Don't kid yourself. The Boy Scouts of America have diverged from the policies of the ORIGINATING Scout organizations in England and other Commonwealth countries, which practice non-discrimination policies. The problem is the heavy influence of the Mormon church over the BSA. The fact that they are a private group does not mean they cannot be condemned for their behaviour.

      April 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • STL

      The Boys Scouts of America wants people to think it's a private group but they receive a lot of state and federal funding. If you take the money you follow the rules. They can continue to be a discriminating organization when they quit taking public money.

      April 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sorel

        To STL,

        If you are pretending that Scout troops get federeal dollars, you are seriously mistaken. Other than tax deductible contributions, which all kinds of groups are eligible for, when have Scouts gotten public money?

        April 26, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        You are sadly mistaken STL. The BSA receive NO funding from State or Federal government. They operate solely on donations therefore they can remain a private organization and make the rules they see fit. Right or wrong! Just ask all of the women who have tried to become members at Augusta golf course in Georgia where they hold the masters. To this date 0

        August 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Really?

    Can't we all just get along..??

    April 25, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  11. hamsta

    God destroyed the cities of sodom and gammarha for a reason.where do you think the word sodomy came from?

    April 25, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • fiveliters

      Penn State?

      April 25, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
      • Wm R Martin

        :)
        My vote was for the Catholic church. I mean, who better to write that section of their book of fables other than the reigning experts for the past 2+ millennia?

        Today's big question is whatever happened to gomorrahy and was it actually as much fun as I imagine?

        April 25, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  12. Brenda Thomas

    We better quit looking at the color of our skin and get our life together. Cause the BIBLE says My father is coming back like a theft in the night and we want be able to get our soul right. So we need to force on going to heaven,Weather you like it are not we are all Family in GOD's eyes. Another thing we was not born to hate people of color and diffent backgroung,we were taugh and thats wrong we will all have to stan3 in front of God for OUR Sins. Man has truely messed up stop teaching Gods way

    April 25, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Did you read the story? This wasn't about race.

      April 25, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
      • Wm R Martin

        Don't worry Rob, Brenda can't write to save her life so I seriously doubt she can read.

        April 25, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |