Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore & others speak out against Boy Scouts gay ban


As you probably heard, the Boy Scouts of America recently upheld a longstanding ban on letting openly gay people join or volunteer. They claim to have done a two year internal evaluation on their policy of discrimination, but I seriously doubt it. This sends a message to kids that gay people, including gay kids, are different and not good enough to be involved in Boys Scouts or mentor youth, and that’s disgraceful. It turns out that a lot of people agree with me, particularly some high profile celebrities who are using their platform to speak out against The Boy Scouts. (Just as Steven Spielberg did back in 2001 when he resigned from their board for this reason. It’s 11 years later and it seems nothing has changed for them.) Here’s the story, thanks to Radar Online.

The Boy Scouts Of America cemented its controversial policy on Tuesday of not allowing open gays to become troop members, and RadarOnline.com can exclusively reveal the public discrimination has caused outrage among both gay rights activists and Hollywood stars.

The organization’s leaders reached the decision after a nearly two-year evaluation and will take no further action on a resolution that has sought a change in policy, it said in a news release, according to CNN.com.

The scouts’ vow of “not granting membership to open or avowed homosexuals” also restricts gays from being scout masters and adds fuel to the fire that was sparked in April after Ohio Cub Scout leader Jennifer Tyrrell was ousted from her son’s pack for being a lesbian.

“Hundreds of thousands of Americans including the corporate leaders of Ernst & Young and AT&T, current Eagle Scouts, and celebrities such as Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore, Dianna Agron and Ricky Martin, have spoken out against the ban on gay scouts and gay scout leaders,” GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) spokesperson Rich Ferraro told RadarOnline.com in an exclusive interview.

“The only people being hurt by this ban is gay young adults who aren’t allowed to participate and children of gay parents whose moms and dads are unable to take part in their life,” he went on to reveal.

“The Boy Scouts of America are forcing parents to explain to their children why some people can’t be a part of their organization and should join the Girl Scouts of the USA, the 4-H Club, the Boys & Girls Club and the United States Military in ending this unfair discrimination.”

The gay community refuses to back down in their fight for equality, and on Wednesday Tyrrell and her 7-year-old son, Cruz, will deliver more than 300,000 signatures and comments from a Change.org petition to the Boy Scouts of America’s national headquarters in Dallas.

Tyrrell hopes Boy Scout leaders will meet with her for the first time and accept the signatures as well as consider reinstating her as den leader so her son can resume scouting, explained Ferraro.

On Sunday, Eric Jones, a 19 year-old Eagle Scout from Missouri who had been with the scouts for nearly 10 years, lost his job as a camp counselor after he came out as gay to his camp director. Jones’ confrontation will be featured in the upcoming documentary Second Class Citizens.

“Until this ban is lifted, the Scouts are putting parents in a situation where they have to explain to their children why some scouts and hard-working scout leaders are being turned away simply because of who they are,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick in a statement to Radar. “It’s unfair policies like this that contribute to a climate of bullying in our schools and communities. Since when is that a value worth teaching young adults?”

[From Radar]

I completely agreed with GLAAD. I have a son who will be eight this year. Some of you may disagree with my stance on this, but I’ve told him that we’re not going to get involved with The Boy Scouts until they stop discriminating against gay people. He’s not particularly interested in joining Boy Scouts and has other activities he’s busy with anyway. I have a gay family member and this is something I feel strongly about. I want to pass on those values to my son and I feel that it would be against our family’s basic beliefs if we participated in that organization.

It’s worth noting that some local divisions of The Boy Scouts have defied the parent organization by issuing statements that gay and lesbian people are welcome to join and become scoutmasters. The largest Boy Scout group in Minnesota recently did this, which makes me wonder if they’ll face repercussions from the national organization.

In 2000, the Supreme Court upheld The Boy Scout’s right to discriminate based on sexual orientation. They remain a private organization, and from what I can find they don’t directly receive taxpayer or government money, although of course they use public facilities like schools free of charge.

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58 Responses to “Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore & others speak out against Boy Scouts gay ban”

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  1. marie says:

    even though they are a private organization and are within their right to do this, it doesn’t make it any less disgusting..

    • tripmom says:

      +1… despicable

      • Kate says:

        totally agree. my little brother is gay and he used to be a boy scout. luckily for us we lived in a small town in canada that is totally accepting and he never had any issues growing up (thank goodness) with people judging him or making him feel different. Infact for such a small town there was a surprisingly high number of people who are open about being GLB and T. I think it’s because of this acceptance people weren’t afraid to be who they were. my heart breaks for everyone who isn’t as fortunate as he was, nobody should have to feel like a second class citizen.

  2. Ravensdaughter says:

    I have gay family members and completely oppose this ban for the same reasons.
    Aside-damn, Julianne looks good! Genes and taking care of her skin. Just as importantly, she is in a good place with her life and marriage.
    Compare her to say….Madonna.

  3. Amelia says:

    This is ridiculous. Get your act together, Boy Scouts, this is 2012. This classes as discrimination, why are they not being told to amend their criteria or whatever bs they’re going on about. If someone makes a homophobic comment in the street to someone, they can be arrested can’t they? It may be slightly different in GB than the US, so I could be wrong. But I don’t understand how they can be allowed to do this.

  4. backwards says:

    Boy Scouts should have to earn a badge in acceptance.

  5. Jacq says:

    I can imagine a handful of Dads I know sitting down with their sons and saying, “will you please just say you’re gay so we don’t have to do this stupid camping sh*t anymore?”
    I’m not making light of their obvious ignorance, I just don’t know anyone, adult or child, who thinks its the living-end.

    • Amelia says:

      Brilliant ;)

    • Playlist says:

      Interesting slip that you didn’t have the Dads being the one to say they were gay, instead you pass it on to the child to take on the task, just as you would use the child to do the lying so the parent would get to slack off. I’m sure you were making a harmless joke, but in light of the discussion, it was tasteless.

  6. Marianne says:

    It will take time like anything. Black people used to be banned from joining different social clubs, so I think its a just a matter of time, before they allow gays too.

  7. MollyB says:

    Would never, ever allow a son of mine to join an organization like this. I suppose it’s a good thing I only have girls–the Girl Scouts rock!

    • curegirl0421 says:

      Girl Scouts DO rock. It’s one of the things I hate (other than the obvious) about the Boy Scouts being such douche canoes about it – people assume the Girl Scouts are part of the same organization and we ARE NOT. Totally different, the only connection is Juliette Low got her idea for Girl Scouts from the boys’ organization.

  8. Chris: now with 10% less negativity says:

    I wouldn’t let my kids join the Boy Scouts because it’s lame. Pure orthodoxy. That’s all it is.

  9. melangie says:

    Alot of my sons friends were involved in Scouting when he was 7-8. It was the first opportunity to discuss exclusion/discrimination with him. We’re Jewish so maybe a little sensitive- but we had to have the “First they came for the gay guys & then they came for the Jews” chat. So, no scouts for him.

    • Anon says:

      My Jewish father-in-law is VERY involved with Boy Scouts and doesn’t understand why I won’t let any future kids join so long as this is going on. I was kind of blown away that he didn’t get it given the exclusion from social clubs that Jews faced in the none too distant past.

  10. Vivian says:

    Very very sad about this; it’s pure discrimination. If I were to worry about possible dangers to the Boy Scouts, I’d be worried about this balant act of discrimination, homophobia and people that volunteer as a disguise to acess or groom for sexual abuse.

  11. janie says:

    This is awful. Most boys join boy scouts as young children, so are those who realize they’re gay as teenagers supposed to quit? Stay closeted so they don’t get kicked out? This is perpetuating discrimination and teaching young boys values that will seem archaic by the time they’re adults. It’s awesome that so many celebs are coming out against this ban now, hopefully boy scouts will get some less bigoted leaders.

    I can’t believe this is legal! America, you’re embarrassing me again. Might just stay in Canada.

    • RobN says:

      Feel free. Say hello to all the celebrities who threaten to move to Canada every time an election doesn’t go their way. If you’re embarrassed by America, one of the few countries that stands up for anybody in this world, then enjoy Canada and all the snow, beer and curling it has to offer.

      Or you could encourage organizations in your country to make changes to be more inclusive, but that is a lot harder, so it’s probably easier to just stay in Canada.

    • Playlist says:

      janie, I totally agree, except I’m stuck being an embarrassed American. How shocking that adults in an educational organization would make such a huge decision for so many kids and in doing so are teaching them discrimination because of their own bigotry.

      Both girls and boys in my family were in Scouts and my parents were also involved in it. My parents also taught us to treat all people with equal respect – except the obvious asswipes who don’t deserve it – which in this case would be the Boy Scout organization. If it were today, my mom would be the first to yank us out of Scouts over this and teach us why she was doing so. I would do the same to my kids if I had them.

  12. Nanea says:

    Wasn’t Baden Powell gay?

    That should give those Boys Scout leaders some food for thought!

  13. TheOriginalKitten says:

    It’s always so strange when they make that distinction of barring “openly” gay individuals. So if someone’s a closeted gay, they’re essentially welcome to join, but they’re STILL gay.
    So WTF is the difference?

  14. ramona says:

    Bravo to all of those who are lending their names and images to help end this disgusting discrimination.

  15. lucy2 says:

    How sad, and really pathetic in this day and age. Way to pass on intolerance, discrimination, and homophobia to the next generation, Boy Scouts.
    With that, I think it’s time for schools and such to stop letting them use their facilities – if they want to be a private group and allowed to discriminate, no more using tax payer funded buildings.

    I hope someone forms an alternate group that is accepting of everyone, and focuses on what this should be, a fun learning experience for kids.

  16. Aubra says:

    This makes me think of that episode of “Strangers With Candy” where Geoffry (pronounced JOFFrey LOL) went to the school costume party dressed as a boyscout troop leader, I’mma try and talk one of my “children” into going dressed like that for Halloween! LMAO

    My mom didn’t let me join Brownies/Girlscouts when I was little, she had me join Campfire instead…they still operate, but they’re not very popular it seems!

    • curegirl0421 says:

      Again, just FYI… Girl Scouts have nothing to do with Boy Scouts. The GS slogan is “for every girl” and they mean it.

  17. Chicagogurl17 says:

    What kind of message are we sending kids? Those who don’t bully you, exclude you for being gay or being associated with someone who is gay? Just seems morally indignant.

  18. flan says:

    Ugh.

    Disgusting that they are allowed to do this. Not going to ever support anything related to them.

  19. L says:

    Everyone’s children will end up going to school with/are in activities with/will work with/live next to gay children and children with gay parents. They will serve in the military with them.

    Parents can still educate their own children about homosexuality in whatever manner they wish without excluding them from participation.(and will actually be forced to do this as their children ask ‘why is x not allowed?’) They don’t have to make it a part of their education/programs.

    If the conservative say “but they’ll ask questions about gays before children should!” You know what? You kids will go shopping at the mall someday and ask the same thing. You can’t keep them in a bubble.

    Trying to separate and pretend that gays don’t exist serves no one. Don’t get me started on how the BSA protects child molesters with their secret files.
    http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/local_news/investigations/the-boy-scouts-of-america-kept-secret-sex-abuse-files-hidden-for-decades

  20. Dee Cee says:

    A club sets the rules.. you don’t have to join.. Make your own club.

    • Zvonk says:

      If you’re incapable of adhering to anti-discrimination laws, you have no business running a club. Would you hold the same position if they were restricting their membership to only white people? Somehow I doubt it!

  21. Feebee says:

    SS resigns over this issue in 2001 and it took them a further 9 years before starting a two year evaluation?

    I don’t understand how being a ‘private’ institution lets you off the hook for blatant discrimination. But since it’s legal how about making it mandatory to put a disclaimer on all their recruitment advertising (whether for employees, volunteers or potential scouts) that this is their policy. If they’re that okay with it, no need to hide it.

  22. Zvonk says:

    I’m pretty sure there’s a law in the UK that would prevent them from doing this here.

    For some unfathomable reason, far too many people feel that being gay is equivalent to being a pedophile. I find this strange, as the vast majority of peodophiles are actually heterosexual.

    I’m an uncle to two fabulous nieces and two adorable nephews. I may be gay, but I’m a fantastic uncle. Maybe it’s because I’m unlikely to ever have a child of my own, and treat them as if they were mine. Who knows? But if you asked my nieces and nephews, I’m certain they would disagree with the Boy Scouts decision.

    • I Choose Me says:

      For some unfathomable reason, far too many people feel that being gay is equivalent to being a pedophile. I find this strange, as the vast majority of peodophiles are actually heterosexual.

      This exactly! It’s right up there with the sentiment that if gays were allowed to marry then people’ll want to marry their dogs etc. (Side note: A man in South Korea married his pillow recently. Yep, a pillow.)
      The term pedophile itself gets misused a lot as well and is often confused with ephebophilia. I call it the boogie-man word as some people (primarily women) make it seem like there’s one hiding under every bush or around every corner.

      Seriously though, bigotry is deeply inbred and it’ll take some time before homosexuality achieves mainstream acceptance and is not perceived as an ‘other.’ Good on those celebrities who use their clout in helping to achieve this and I applaud everyone who speaks up against inequality, both privately and publicly.

    • Autumnleaves says:

      While there are more pedophiles who are straight when they sexual abuse innocent children of the opposite sex, pedophiles sexually abusing children of the same sex are not to be classified as straight pedophile when any same sex attraction is defined as homosexual. Perhaps those pedephiles like Sandusky are bisexual and afraid to come out. NAMBLA is not a straight organization in the least. The organization is made up of perverted gay/bisexual men who want legitimacy for their pedestry.

      And no, I don’t believe all gays are pedophiles. None of my gay friends are pedophiles.

    • Autumnleaves says:

      While there are more pedophiles who are straight when they sexual abuse innocent children of the opposite sex, pedophiles sexually abusing children of the same sex are not to be classified as straight pedophile when any same sex attraction is defined as homosexual. Perhaps those pedephiles like Sandusky are bisexual and afraid to come out. NAMBLA is not a straight organization in the least. The organization is made up of perverted gay/bisexual men who want legitimacy for their pedestry.

  23. The O.V. says:

    LOVE THE BOYS AND GIRL SCOUTS. They rock. Will support them forever.

    When celebrities stop supporting Woody, Scar Jo, Scientologists, honoring dirt bags like Glen and exposing the rampant pedophilia and general evilness of the industry, I will be on board with their outrage on pet issues. Until then, they only get butthurt over certain issues as a way to shame people for having different beliefs. Agenda agenda agenda with double side of hypocrites. THE MATRIX IS REAL.LOL.

    Not to mention that Hollywood perpetuates the gay is shame myth every freaking day. So many leading men and women, but men mostly, are still forced to stay in the closet for image and for the profits. They are not team gay, team minorities, team kids…they are team money, power, evil.

    • Autumnleaves says:

      AGREED!!! It’s asinine of some people looking to Hollywood as the bastian of morality and social change. Lol! Only when it serves to make money for the higher ups. This industry is full of lies, illusions, and fantasy. Perfect @ “They are not team gay, team minorities, team kids…they are team money, power, evil.”

    • Bodhi says:

      ScarJo? What did she do?

  24. Tami says:

    I know that the BSA and the Mormon church have strong ties, and I wonder how much of this policy is tied to the church. My best girlfriend is Mormon, and she said that the church has a HUGE stake (financial and otherwise) in policy-making within the BSA organization.

  25. Jenne Frisby says:

    I’m always surprised that people are surprised about this news… they’ve never made a secret of their bigotry. But I never really understood why the Boy Scouts or the Girl Scouts were even a thing. Why do they have such followings in the first place, or especially now when there are so many other options? Is it just family tradition?

  26. Dragon says:

    Sorry, wrong block. :D

  27. oxa says:

    Sandusky being married with kids did not stop him ruining many boys lives!
    Exclusion of any group is discrimination and should never be tolerated.

  28. JD says:

    My hubby is Cubmaster for our local group, and we don’t discriminate against anyone.

    I think it depends more on who is running each group, and if enough of them don’t discriminate, maybe this ban will be overturned?

    Edited to add: and we have never seen anything in the literature about keeping gay children out.

  29. thatttbitch says:

    Good for them….homosexuality is a peverse sexual act and it is a sin against God…I don’t care how you people try to paint it and sugar coat it…it is just plain wrongg…if there was nothing wrong with it and it was perfectly normal then society wouldn’t have such a hard time accepting it would they ..in fact it wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow

    • Autumnleaves says:

      Agreed. And I also agree with this organization’s decision.

    • Marianne says:

      Its also a sin to get tattoos, get round haircuts, wear gold jewelery,eat shellfish amongst other things.

      People were also against interracial marriage once upon a time.They thought that was immoral. Now (for the most part)its accepted.

  30. Angee says:

    As Americans we each have the right to create a PRIVATE organization and admit who we want based on OUR criteria. Start your own organization based on your own criteria if you don’t like it.