Tag Archives: randall stephenson

AT&T exec, Boy Scout board member opposes gay scouting ban

Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T and an executive board member with the Boy Scouts of America, wants the nonprofit to lift its ban against gay members and leaders.

The Dallas Voice reports that Stephenson is joining Ernst & Young CEO James Turley, also a BSA board member, in opposing the controversial policy.

But just today the BSA executive office announced it had concluded a secret two-year review and decided to affirm the ban. A spokesman for the BSA told The Associated Press that an 11-member confidential review board had concluded that the anti-gay policy is the best policy for the scouting organization.

“This is a missed opportunity of colossal proportions,” said Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights group. “With the country moving toward inclusion, the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have instead sent a message to young people that only some of them are valued.  These adults could have taught the next generation of leaders the value of respect, yet they’ve chosen to teach division and intolerance.”

“The Boy Scouts of America decision to continue to exclude gays from membership is extremely disappointing and sends the message that gay youth are not fit to serve God and country,” said R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans and an eagle scout who served in his youth in Troop 23 in Tallahassee, Fla. “This is absolutely the wrong policy for the Boy Scouts.”

The news of the BSA decision comes as Jennifer Tyrrell, a lesbian mom from Bridgeport, Ohio, prepared to deliver petitions challenging the ban to the BSA headquarters in Dallas on July 18.

The BSA ousted Tyrrell as a den leader because of the ban, which has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court but opposed by scouts, parents, educators, politicians, executives and legal experts. The anti-gay ban has led a number of public entities to evict or remove the BSA for violating non-discrimination policies.

Tyrrell, after her ouster, launched a petition on Change.org that now has more than 300,000 signatures.

Her petition led Turley to announce his opposition to the ban in June and encouraged Stephenson’s stand this month.

“
This is a huge new development and could mean that the Boy Scouts are preparing to end this anti-gay policy sooner rather than later,” Tyrrell said through Change.org before the BSA affirmed the ban. “I’m very impressed with Mr. Stephenson’s leadership and his new commitment to helping the Boy Scouts stop discriminating, a position that is totally consistent with AT&T’s record as a champion of fairness and equality in the workplace.”



Tyrrell also has received support from celebrities, including Julianne Moore, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Hutcherson and Ricky Martin.

Earlier this year, she received an award from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

On the Web: http://www.change.org/petitions/boy-scouts-of-america-reinstate-cub-scout-leader-who-was-removed-for-being-gay

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Boy Scouts board member opposes gay ban

A prominent member of the Boy Scouts of America’s national board is calling for an end to the group’s ban on gay scouts and leaders.

James Turley, BSA board member and CEO of Ernst & Young, this week endorsed a resolution calling for repeal of the ban.

Turley, in a statement first reported by CNBC, said, “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.”

The resolution calling for an end to the ban was launched by Jennifer Tyrrell, an Ohio mom ousted this spring from her post as the leader of her 7-year-old son’s Cub Scout pack because she’s a lesbian.

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 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,” Tyrrell said.

In her resolution, she noted that the BSA board consisted of representatives from two companies ranked among the best for LGBT benefits and policies – Ernst & Young and AT&T.

With the announcement from Turley, activists and petitioners are now focusing on Randall Stephenson at AT&T.

The petition is on Change.org.

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