If there’s one group Carly Rae Jepsen would prefer does not call her maybe, it’s the Boy Scouts of America. Unless the organization drops its ban on gay members.
Both Jepsen and the band Train, who were announced last week as the headlining acts for the 2013 National Scout Jamboree in July, have cancelled their appearances in the past few days. Train announced its decision on a blog post while Jepsen tweeted her rejection:
The issue of the Boy Scouts excluding gay scouts and troop leaders was brought to the musicians’ attention on Friday after Eagle Scout Derek Nance launched a Change.org petition expressing surprise that artists with such a large LGBT following would headline for an organization that excludes homosexual members.
The musicians’ boycott also signals more success for gay Eagle Scout Will Oliver and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
On Monday, Oliver and GLAAD delivered 120,000 signatures to the National Geographic Channel regarding Nat Geo’s new show Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout? The petition requested that National Geographic voice the channel’s commitment to diversity in contrast to the Boy Scouts of America’s ban. Oliver and GLAAD suggested this disclaimer:
The current membership policy of the Boy Scouts of America goes against the policy of National Geographic Channel and the National Geographic Society. National Geographic Channel is an equal opportunity employer and does not support discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
While National Geographic did not agree to the disclaimer, it said it would publish a guest editorial by Oliver on its website.
Oliver expressed his disappointment about the network’s refusal to run the disclaimer, a frustration echoed in GLAAD Vice President of Communications Rich Ferraro’s assertion that National Geographic Channel “fell short of doing the right thing,” adding “the pressure will only continue to grow.”
With Train and Carly Rae Jepsen bailing on the National Scout Jamboree, the BSA is certainly realizing that allowing or banning gay scouts is an issue that will not go away any time soon. The Supreme Court has declared that the organization is legally entitled to duck the issue for as long as it sees fit.
How long that will be could well depend on the continued pressure of Scouts like Derek Nance and Will Oliver.
Do you think the Boy Scouts of America will ever allow gay members and leaders? Explain the facts that inform your future view in COMMENTS.
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Paige Brettingen is a journalist in Los Angeles where she is pursuing her masters at USC. When she's not on the lookout for the next story, her interests include running, talking about her dog too much and attempting to be a better cook. Follow her @newsbypaige.