Amanda Guerra, NBC 5 News
Jennifer Tyrrell, ousted as a den leader because she is a lesbian, delivered a petition with 300,000 signatures to the Boy Scouts of America headquarters urging the Dallas-based organization to reinstate her.
An Ohio mom who says she was ousted as a den leader by the Boy Scouts of America because she is gay delivered to the group's headquarters in Irving on Wednesday a 300,000-strong petition supporting her reinstatement.
This is the first time any representative from the Boy Scouts has agreed to listen to Tyrrell’s story. She said the 10-minute meeting with two representatives from the organization was polite, but the group still is not budging on its stance.
In a statement released after the meeting, the BSA said: "The Boy Scouts of America treats everyone with courtesy and respect. Today, representatives from the BSA accepted an online petition from Jennifer Tyrell and her family. This is the second time the petition has been delivered to the BSA. BSA values the freedom of everyone to express their opinion and believes to disagree does not mean to disrespect." -- Deron Smith, director of public relations.
Tyrrell, her partner, and two of their sons delivered more than 300,000 signatures from the petition on change.org.
“I love the scouts and want to be a part of the scouts. It’s a dangerous message, it’s unfair to tell adults and kids you can’t participate in something,” said Tyrrell. “We will continue to petition the Boy Scouts until we win and ask them to change the policy willingly. When you have children, and someone tells them they’re not good enough, it’s not OK. It’s just not. My big concern was my kids in my pack would think I abandoned them. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying until I’m included."
Tyrrell said this isn’t the end to the battle. There’s already 16,000 more online petition signatures. She said she’s even gained support from some Boy Scout board members.
Tyrrell was met in the parking lot by protestors from Mansfield Kingdom Baptist Church.
“Just because society passes a civil law that says homosexuality is legal, that doesn’t mean it’s morally right,” said Pastor Joey Faust. “If they openly profess to do something against scout code and the Bible, I believe it’s wrong to put them there as an influence and example on our kids."
NBC 5's Amanda Guerra & Frank Heinz contributed to this report.