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|Reports: Ernst & Young CEO comes out in support of gays in Boy Scouts|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|June 13, 2012 07:33|
James Turley, national Boy Scouts Board member and CEO of Ernst & Young issues statement saying he is coming out in support of gay inclusion in scouting, according to CNBC and GLAAD.
The decision came after Jennifer Tyrell, a lesbian den mother from Ohio, was kicked from the Boy Scouts after a year of serving as her son's den leader, she alleges. She's created a petition on Change.org calling on the Boy Scouts of America to reconsider its policy toward gay scouts and gay leaders. The petition currently has some 300,000 signatures.
Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, who earned internet fame testifying about his two moms, delivered signatures to the national meeting of the Boy Scouts of America national meeting in Florida urging BSA to change its policies.
Wahls has also helped start an organization, Scouts for Equality, to work toward ending the BSA's anti-gay policy.
Turley apparently made the statement exclusively to CNBC reporter Ryan Ruggiero who tweeted the news as it was breaking and also included it in a roundup of news events that was broadcast on CNBC. In the CNBC broadcast, Ruggiero mentions Turley's statement at the 57 second mark.
Ruggiero's tweets that began Tuesday at approximately 8 p.m. ET:
Video: CEO of Ernst & Young and Boy Scout Board member comes out in support of LGBT inclusiveness in scouting http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000095858&;play=1
Full Text Statement From James Turley,Global Chairman & CEO- Ersnt & Young @EYnews to @CNBC on the @BoyScouts http://www.scribd.com/doc/96889695
E&Y CEO to @CNBC: I intend to continue to work from within the BSA Board to actively encourage dialogue and sustainable progress.
E&Y CEO To @CNBC: However the membership policy of the Boy Scouts is not one I would personally endorse.
E&Y CEO TO @CNBC: I support the meaningful work of the Boy Scouts in preparing young people for adventure, leadership, learning and service
E&Y to @CNBC: E&Y is proud to have such a strong record in LGBT inclusiveness-having an inclusive culture produces the best results
Breaking News:CEO of Ernst & Young and Boy Scout Board member James Turley comes out in support of LGBT inclusiveness in scouting
The full statement from Turley reads, according to CNBC, reads:
Statement from James S. Turley, Global Chairman & CEO, Ersnt & Young
Ernst & Young is proud to have such a strong record in LGBT inclusiveness. As CEO, I know that having an inclusive culture produces the best results, is the right thing for our people and makes us a better organization. My experience has led me to believe that an inclusive environment is important throughout our society and I am proud to be a leader on this issue.I support the meaningful work of the Boy Scouts in preparing young people for adventure, leadership,learning and service, however the membership policy is not one I would personally endorse. As I have done in leading Ernst & Young to being a most inclusive organization, I intend to continue to work from within the BSA Board to actively encourage dialogue and sustainable progress
There is no Turley statement linked to the Ernst& Young website's press releases page.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation issued a press release this morning about Turley's decision to support changing BSA's policy.
A week ago, the Boy Scouts of America said regardless of petitions or resolutions introduced about asking the organization to reverse its policy on banning gays from service it is not changing its policy on prohibiting openly gay people from serving. A spokesperson from the BSA did not immediately return an email seeking comment about Turley's statement.
“While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA,” the BSA explained in a June 7 press release responding to recent questions about its membership policy.
"Scouting believes same-sex attraction should be introduced and discussed outside of its program with parents, caregivers, or spiritual advisers, at the appropriate time and in the right setting. The vast majority of parents we serve value this right and do not sign their children up for Scouting for it to introduce or discuss, in any way, these topics.
“The BSA is a voluntary, private organization that sets policies that are best for the organization. The BSA welcomes all who share its beliefs but does not criticize or condemn those who wish to follow a different path.”
In a press statement from Change.org, Jennifer Tyrell said, “When the Boy Scouts kicked me out for being gay, I felt so excluded, like I was nothing, and like I was disappointing my seven-year-old son and his entire pack of Cub Scouts.
"But the overwhelming support I’ve received from thousands of scouts and scout leaders, as well as hundreds of thousands of people from around the country, has meant the world to me. We are at a tipping point, with national leaders within the Boy Scouts now taking a firm stand to help end discrimination," she said.
Tyrrell and others are now calling on AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, another Boy Scouts of America board member, to join Turley publicly state his opposition to the BSA's current policies. AT&T is also a very pro-gay company to work for.
Watch a video of Tyrell and Wahls speaking about their efforts to change the BSA's policy at the recent GLAAD awards in San Francisco:
Photo: Former den mother and lesbian Jennifer Tyrell with her son, Cruz. (via change.org)
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