CEO of AT&T: Urge the Boy Scouts to Drop Ban on Gay Leaders and Troops
  • Petitioned Mark Siegel

This petition was delivered to:

Media Relations, AT&T
Mark Siegel
AT&T LGBT Employee Group
CEO, Chairman and President, AT&T
Randall Stephenson

CEO of AT&T: Urge the Boy Scouts to Drop Ban on Gay Leaders and Troops

    1. Jennifer Tyrrell
    2. Petition by

      Jennifer Tyrrell

      Bridgeport, OH

July 2012


After more than 80,000 people signed Jennifer Tyrrell's petition, AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson joined James S. Turley, chairman and chief executive of Ernst & Young, by agreeing to push the Boy Scouts to end their "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" style ban on gay scouts and leaders.

Jennifer was scheduled to deliver her petition to AT&T headquarters in Dallas when a spokesperson for Randall Stephenson said, he's "committed to changing the policy.”

Stephenson is slated to become the Board President of the Boy Scouts of America in 2014.

Now pressure is mounting on the Boy Scouts of America Board to vote on ending the anti-gay ban. Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout from Iowa, started a petition on calling upon the Board to vote to end the ban now. Zach's petition is available here:

My name is Jennifer Tyrrell, and in April 2012, I was removed as the den leader of my seven-year-old son’s Cub Scout pack, all because I’m gay. Despite the fact that I was a good den leader and parents in the community supported me and urged me to take on the role, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) now say that I do not “meet the high standards of membership” that the BSA seeks, and will no longer allow me to participate in scouting.

This news was heartbreaking -- both for me, but also for my son, who wonders why the BSA won’t let his mother participate in scouting. But as heartbreaking as this news was, there’s a ray of hope -- hundreds of thousands of people took action and put pressure on the Boy Scouts of America to end their long-held policy that bars gay scout leaders and gay troops. And now, after delivering hundreds of thousands of signatures to the Boy Scouts of America’s National Annual Meeting, the Boy Scouts have publicly revealed -- for the first time in history -- that a resolution is before their national board that would allow local chartering organizations to welcome gay troops and gay scout leaders.

This is historic. With thousands of current scouts, former scouts, and scout leaders around the country urging the Boy Scouts of America to end their policy prohibiting gay troops and leaders, the time for the Boy Scouts’ board to act is now. And who better to act than a business leader who is not only on the board of the Boy Scouts, but who also leads a company with a near perfect record on gay rights: Randall Stephenson of AT&T.

AT&T has a 100% ranking on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index, and has been honored as a top place to work for LGBT employees. In addition, AT&T has active LGBT employee groups. If Randall Stephenson has been so successful at leading a company committed to LGBT rights, he can use his power as a board member of the Boy Scouts of America to help change a discriminatory policy that prevents families like mine from being involved in scouts.

The Boy Scouts offer so much to young people like my son. But by continuing to prevent gay Americans from participating as leaders or troops, the Boy Scouts are sending a damaging message to kids that discrimination is acceptable, and that families like mine aren’t welcome at their table. Randall Stephenson has the unique position of being able to challenge this policy from within, and join the hundreds of thousands of supporters who’ve urged the Boy Scouts to end their ban on gay troops and leaders.

Please urge corporate leaders to take their leadership on diversity issues within the workplace, and extend it to their role as board members of the Boy Scouts of America.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 75,000 signatures
    2. CNBC: Boardroom Battle: Directors Clash Over Gay Rights

      Joe Mirabella
      Petition Organizer

      CNBC provided a analysis of the influence board members can have on an organization like the Boy Scouts. For example, by starting this petition Jennifer Tyrrell was able to get the attention of the CEO of Ernst & Young who publicly came out against the Boy Scouts anti-gay policy. CNBC also provides evidence that being affiliated with anti-gay organizations can be bad for business.

    3. Reached 50,000 signatures
    4. LA Times: Boy Scouts board member: Scouts should include gays

      Joe Mirabella
      Petition Organizer

      The LA Times reported, "One key figure with the Boy Scouts of America is calling on the Scouting organization to allow openly gay Scouts and gay Scout leaders, and a petition is urging another figure -- AT&T chairman and chief executive Randall Stephenson -- to join his call."

    5. Reached 6,000 signatures
    6. AP: CEO on Scouts' governing board opposes ban on gays

      Joe Mirabella
      Petition Organizer

      According to the AP:

      AT&T issued a statement on Stephenson's behalf, indicating that he too might be interested in working internally to reconsider the membership policy.

      "Diversity and inclusion are part of AT&T's culture and operations, and we're proud to be recognized as a leader in this area," the statement said. "We don't agree with every policy of every organization we support, nor would we expect them to agree with us on everything. Our belief is that change at any organization must come from within to be successful and sustainable."

    7. Reuters: U.S. Boy Scouts board member speaks out against gay ban

      Joe Mirabella
      Petition Organizer

      Reuters reported, "Jim Turley, chairman and chief executive officer of Ernst & Young and a board member of the Boy Scouts of America, has joined calls to end the group's exclusion of gays.

      Another Boy Scout board member, CEO Randall Stephenson of the telecommunications giant AT&T, said on Wednesday he favors diversity but did not go as far as Turley in speaking against the Scouts' policy."

    8. Reached 1,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • kelly hernandez KANSAS CITY, MO
      • about 2 years ago

      we fight to get fathers involved with their children and when they do we look at how they have sex as to whether or not they can be a part of the activity of Boy Scouts that's just ridiculous.

    • Laura Sloma ALTO, MI
      • about 2 years ago

      Straight, married, mom of two scouts and a troop committee member; not afraid of gay scouts or leaders.

    • Paulette Hand WILLIAMSTOWN, NJ
      • about 2 years ago

      I believe in equality for everyone. We all have the right to live our lives as we were born to live. Maybe the Boy Scouts should teach tolerance and non-discrimination for all. I am a heterosexual grandmother and I think everyone should be allowed to be who they are without prejudice.

    • Tyler Chapman LUBBOCK, TX
      • about 2 years ago

      I am an Eagle Scout who is gay. I was involved in scouting from age 5-19. I served as SPL and worked as a guide at Philmont Scout Ranch. I was always in a position of leadership to my fellow scouts , whether it be a PL or SPL, or Junior Assistant Scout Master. I served in the United States Marine Corps, and I am currently a Paramedic, as a direct result of scouting and its influences on my life. My Father is an Eagle Scout and his Father was his scout master, and the best parts of my life were in scouting, and I would love nothing more than to be able to experiance this with my son some day. I can honestly say that I would not be the person I am today if it was not for the BSA. This is an amazing organization, and I find it sad that families are being denied membership because of sexual orientation. I would love to share my knowledge of Scouting, the Military, Paramedicine, and LIFE, in order to help these kids with all that life will throw at them. I know of several fellow scouts who were gay, and it would help these kids to know that they are not alone, and that there are Leaders in the organization that they can talk to and get advise from. I know that as a scout, this is something that I had a hard time with. Thank you for letting me express my deep feelings on this issue, and i hope that the BSA stops discrimating against LGBT leaders and youth.

      • about 2 years ago

      It was through my association with Scouting programs that I first met honorable, closeted gay men who were in Boy Scout leadership positions. The ones I knew were caring, nurturing, wonderful role models. Don't make good men hide who they are.


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