Entries in Homosexuality (3)


Eagle Scout Challenges Boy Scouts' Anti-Gay Policy With Petition

Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout from Iowa. (, Fla.) -- Eagle Scout Zach Wahls challenged the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policy Wednesday when he delivered three boxes of petitions demanding change, signed by more than 275,000 people.

Wahls, 20, presented the petitions during the Boy Scouts' National Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla., on behalf of Jennifer Tyrrell, an Ohio mom who was removed as the den leader of her 7-year-old son's Cub Scout troop in April because of her sexual orientation. The Boy Scouts are the parent organization of the Cub Scouts.

Wahls is the author of My Two Moms and a video of his three-minute speech before Iowa legislators urging them not to pass a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage and civil unions went viral in February 2011.

The petition called for Tyrrell's reinstatement and a change in policy for the organization.

"It is time for the Boy Scouts of America to reconsider its policy of exclusivity against gay youth and leaders," the petition reads. "Please sign this petition to call for an end of discrimination in an organization that is shaping the future."

The petition has garnered support from celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Josh Hutcherson, Ricky Martin and Julianne Moore, among others.

After delivering the petitions, Wahls met privately with three Boy Scout representatives.

"It went well. It was an honest conversation, but a productive one," Wahls told ABC News. "The fact that the meeting happened is a really positive indicator."

Wahls said the Boy Scout leaders were "receptive" of his ideas and he believes the conversation is a positive first step in overcoming cultural prejudices.

Following the meeting, the Boy Scouts released a statement that said they have "no plans" to change their policy.

Wahls is not deterred by the statement.

"President Obama said the exact same thing up until the day he endorsed same-sex marriage. I expect we'll see a similar progression from the Boy Scouts," he said. "Obviously, this is a very long-standing policy and I don't think it we'll see a change today, this week or even this year. But over the coming months, we'll continue to take steps in this evolution."

Tyrrell, 32, was not in Florida for the delivery of the petitions, but will join Wahls at the GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco on Saturday. She told ABC News she is grateful for all of the support.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gay Marriage: Colin Powell vs. Obama vs. Romney

ABC/Donna Svennevik(WASHINGTON) -- Is gay marriage a federal or states’-rights issue? Barack Obama, Colin Powell and Mitt Romney disagree on the issue.

Colin Powell made news Wednesday by publicly backing gay marriage, an ostensible endorsement of President Obama’s new-found conversion, but he parted with Obama on the president’s view that marriage should be left to the states. On that issue, Powell occupies a space in between Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

Powell voiced state/federal agnosticism in his interview Wednesday with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, saying he’d be comfortable with gay marriage legalized by either level of government.

“I don’t see any reason not to say that they should be able to get married under the laws of their state or the laws of the country, however that turns out, and it seems to be the laws of the state,” Powell told Blitzer.

Obama prefers to leave gay marriage to the states, the president told ABC’s Robin Roberts when he backed gay marriage publicly for the first time. “I think it is a mistake to try to make what has traditionally been a state issue into a national issue,” Obama said, when asked if he could take action as president to ensure gay marriage’s legality nationwide.

Romney sees gay marriage as a federal issue, as evidenced by his support for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as heterosexual and for the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Romney signed a National Organization for Marriage pledge expressing those stances.

The state/federal distinction could be the next big topic of discussion in the marriage debate. Gay-rights activists, who lauded the president after his ABC interview, have said gay marriage is a civil-rights issue and called on Obama to do away with DOMA upon taking office.

On the federal front, Obama has instructed his Justice Dept. to stop defending the DOMA in federal court, a move widely criticized by Republicans and opponents of legal gay marriage.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Tyler Clementi's Family Starts Foundation to Discourage Cyber-Bullying

Students pay their respects on October 01, 2010 to first-year student Tyler Clementi, 18, who killed himself shortly after being filmed and broadcast over the Internet during a gay encounter, at Rutgers Univeristy in New Brunswick, New Jersey. EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images(RIDGEWOOD, N.J.) -- The parents of a young suicide victim whose death sparked a national conversation about bullying hope to create something positive from the tragedy.

The parents of Tyler Clementi, the 18-year-old Rutgers University freshman who jumped from the George Washington Bridge after his encounter with another man was allegedly streamed online by his roommate, have started a foundation in his name to discourage cyber-bullying.

In a statement the Clementis say they were devastated by Tyler's death 15 months ago and want to help "reduce the anguish" of those who are tormented because of their sexual orientation.

Clementi's roommate, Dharun Ravi, has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him. He is scheduled to go on trial in February.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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