Boy Scouts: Stop the secrecy! Allow your Board to VOTE to end the ban on gay scouts and leaders
  • Petitioned Boy Scouts of America

This petition was delivered to:

Boy Scouts of America
National President, Boy Scouts of America
Wayne Perry
Chief Scout Executive
Robert Mazzuca
Chief Scout Executive (incoming)
Wayne Brock

Boy Scouts: Stop the secrecy! Allow your Board to VOTE to end the ban on gay scouts and leaders

    1. Zach Wahls
    2. Petition by

      Zach Wahls

      Iowa City, IA

I am a proud Eagle Scout. I'm also the proud son of two lesbian moms. It's time for those two things to stop being contradictory.

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have announced that a "secret committee" has confirmed the Scouts' long-standing policy barring openly LGBT individuals from involvement in its organization, either as youth participants or adult leaders. This shocking "announcement" comes on the heels of a three-month campaign against that policy by various groups -- including Scouts for Equality, of which I am a co-founder -- and people like Jennifer Tyrrell, a gay den mother ousted from the Boy Scouts in April.

Secret committees do not speak for three million Scouts.

Last month, I delivered nearly 300,000 petition signatures to the Boy Scouts' annual convention, and days later, a resolution was introduced that could allow openly gay scouts and leaders for the first time in the history of the BSA. But instead of allowing that resolution to be voted on by the executive board, the BSA instead decided to maintain their anti-gay ban without a vote. Because a secret committee said so.

Above all, what's most disappointing is the secretive nature surrounding how this “decision” was reached. The very first value of the Scout Law is that a Scout is trustworthy. There is absolutely nothing trustworthy about unelected and unnamed committee members who are unwilling to take responsibility for their actions.

In June, an Associated Press story said that BSA spokesperson Deron Smith indicated that "the process would likely be completed by May 2013" at the next annual BSA convention. But that was before two prominent BSA executive board members -- Ernst & Young CEO Jim Turley and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson -- announced that they would oppose the ban and work to overturn it. 

Something here doesn't add up.

We need transparency. We need accountability. More than 3 million individuals deserve more than the one-off musings of a subcommittee that has supposedly existed for more than two years but has not published a single report, has published no minutes and has, as far as anyone can tell, no official documentation.

That's why I've started this petition demanding that the Boy Scouts of America allow the resolution to allow openly gay scouts and leaders to come to a vote at the next BSA convention, in May of 2013.

A secret committee should not silence the voices of hundreds of thousands of Americans. Let the BSA Executive Committee decide--let the resolution come to a vote in May 2013.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 150,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Meredith Rogerson SOMERVILLE, MA
      • 9 months ago

      My father was gay, but even if he wasn't, I would be an ally.

    • Eliese Besemer ROCHESTER, NY
      • 9 months ago

      As one of two lesbian moms, I want my son to be able to be a proud Eagle Scout one day, too!

    • Rand Lee SANTA FE, NM
      • 9 months ago

      You dishonor the proud Scout tradition by keeping your workings secret.

    • Steven Armstrong SPRING, TX
      • 9 months ago

      No child should be taught to value people of other orientations less than anyone else!

    • Michael Pritchard WOKINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 11 months ago

      I am a UK scout and firmly believe that the values we endorse over here should be kept throughout the world. Scouting is a movement for youth, not any specific group of young people. A scout has respect for others? Apparently the higher-ups don't.


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.