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Boy Scout den leader dismissed for being a lesbian

By Chris Boyette, CNN
updated 6:47 PM EDT, Thu April 26, 2012
"This isn't about anybody's sexuality," Jennifer Tyrrell said. "It's about teaching children to be better adults."
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jennifer Tyrrell was dismissed by her Boy Scout troop for being a lesbian
  • Tyrrell is now engaged in a campaign with the Change.org
  • U.S. Supreme Court overturned New Jersey law requiring troop readmit gay Scout master
  • The Girl Scouts of America has a decades-old policy of nondiscrimination

(CNN) -- Jennifer Tyrrell, an Ohio den leader dismissed by her local Boy Scout troop for being a lesbian, said she's disappointed her 7-year-old son is no longer participating in the Scouts.

"He's no longer a Boy Scout," Tyrrell said Wednesday of removing her son, Cruz, from the group. "And we're sad about that, but we can't support an organization that doesn't support our family."

Tyrrell is now engaged in a campaign with Change.org, a left-leaning political group, to raise awareness of the policy of the Boy Scouts of America, garnering 140,000 signatures and saying that she ultimately wants the national organization to reverse its position.

"This isn't about my sexuality; this isn't about anybody's sexuality," Tyrrell said. "It's about teaching children to be better adults, and we aren't doing that by teaching them to hate or discriminate."

LZ Granderson: Boy Scouts feel a mother's wrath

A 2000 U.S. Supreme Court decision found that a New Jersey law requiring the national organization to readmit an openly gay Scout Master infringed the organization's First Amendment right of expressive association and that it had a constitutional right to oppose homosexuality in its ranks.

"Forcing a group to accept certain members may impair the ability of the group to express those views, and only those views, that it intends to express," then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote at the time. He added that the decision was not meant to approve or condemn the Scouts' view on homosexuality.

The Boy Scouts of America said in a statement that its "membership standards are founded on the values, expectations and beliefs of those we serve."

"We recognize that there will be a range of views on this topic, and Scouting's policy is not meant as a social commentary outside of our program," Boy Scouts of America spokesman Deron Smith said.

The Girl Scouts of America has a decades-old policy of nondiscrimination.

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