AT&T CEO commits to ending ban on gay Boy Scouts, leaders

Randall Stephenson photo


In reaction to a petition campaign asking him to speak out against the Boy Scouts of America’s current ban on gay scouts and gay scout leaders, Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T and an executive board member with the Boy Scouts, has announced that he not only supports an end to the ban -- but will also commit to ending it.

In an interview with the Dallas Voice, an AT&T spokesperson for Stephenson said that the executive board member will work alongside Ernst & Young CEO James Turley, another BSA board member, to help change their policy. According to reporter David Taffet, “Stephenson’s spokesman, Marty Richter told Dallas Voice he’s committed to changing the policy. ... Richter said he believes Turley will lead the effort to make the Boy Scouts inclusive with Stephenson’s full support.”

Stephenson’s spokesperson went on record with this commitment after Jennifer Tyrrell, a gay mom from Bridgeport, Ohio, who was ousted as her son’s den leader in April, started a petition on calling for an end to the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay troops and leaders, which has attracted more than 300,000 signatures. In June 2012, Tyrrell began a second petition calling on Stephenson to work to end it. More than 75,000 people have signed it to date.

“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,” said Tyrrell. “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.”

“Our campaign to end the ban on gay Boy Scouts and leaders not only includes thousands of scouts and scout leaders, but has now been joined by two prominent members of the organization’s board of directors,” said Tyrrell.

Tyrrell’s campaign inspired another Boy Scout board member, Ernst & Young Chairman and CEO James Turley, to publicly oppose the organization’s ban on gay scouts and leaders. Following the launch of Tyrrell’s petition, Turley announced June 13 that he intends to “work from within the Boy Scouts of America Board to actively encourage dialogue and sustainable progress” on ending the ban on gay scouts and gay scout leaders. Turley’s comments came after news broke that BSA officials are reviewing a proposal – which could be voted on as early as 2013 – that would end the ban on gay scouts and scout leaders. 

Stephenson’s announced commitment comes shortly before Tyrrell and her 7-year-old son, formerly a Cub Scout, will deliver more than 300,000 signatures -- from the first  petition started by Tyrrell -- to the Boy Scouts of America’s national headquarters in Dallas on Wednesday, July 18.

“All I’m asking for is the opportunity to meet with a Boy Scouts official and resume my post as den leader of my son’s Cub Scout Pack -- a post that was taken from me as a result of a discriminatory policy that’s unpopular with Boy Scouts and leaders across the country,” said Tyrrell. “I hope they’ll listen to my story and the stories of hundreds of thousands who have signed my petitions.”



Cancel AT&T, BSA values betrayed by AT&T CEO

Well I won't be doing anymore business with AT&T. If you disagree with Stephenson's bullying the BSA into allowing openly gay scouts join then cancel your AT&T and let them know why.



Good for AT & T CEO to end ban on gay Boy Scouts, leaders

As a matter of fact, now I will not cancel my AT & T as a result of CEO no longer discriminating against gays. Thank you.

Problematic would be an understatement

This change in policy and the consequences of its enactment was not thoroughly reviewed. They say that BSAs mission is to give every youth an opportunity to benefit from this organization. By changing the policy they have forced several religious organizations to cease all scouting operations. How is it helping our youth when they cause a mass exodus of membership? The Catholic Church, Baptist and Lutherans have already issued statements that they will leave scouting because of this decision. If the Methodist follow suit the percentage of scouts leaving the organization could reach as high as 70% of the current membership of BSA. Sounds like a huge amputation to me to appease these liberal captains of industry that now occupy the Executive Board that were so easily swayed by the gay special interest groups.

The policy of allowing openly gay youth to join up to their 18th birthday and once they are 18 not allowing them to stay in the organization as leaders will draw a large number of discrimination law suits which the BSA will lose. That will force the organization to allow gay leaders into the organization to reduce their escalating legal fees while they experience one of the most crippling budget crisis from the loss of funding.

Not smart at all. To be in a position of strength with God, Morality and the Supreme Court on your side only to surrender your ground and give up the position you won.

To the Executive Board: You had veto power over the delegates and you did not use it. Because of your inaction, you have brought down one of the oldest, highly respected moral organizations in the worlds history. It happened on your watch. You will always be judged by your fellow scouters and your God for your actions here.

We former scouters will move on, stumped by the betrayal of those entrusted to serve all of us and saddened at the end of scouting as we knew and loved it. We will rebuild after we meet next month and we will take up morality where the BSA dropped it.

America's Lost Another....

For the past 30 years we have seen a decline in membership in organizations like the Boy Scouts not because of what the organization represents, but what our society has become. I know of no organization.. religious, civic or service... that represents what is now considered to be antiquated ideals by society that has grown in numbers. Twenty years ago, it became obvious to me that our society is in decline and with it, so will be the decline of organizations like Scouting. Changing policies and principles that have been a foundation for its success will not strengthen, but will weaken the organization. The changes being proposed to the Boy Scouts of America may please many, but it will only be a matter of time before the organization no longer exists. These changes will only hasten its demise... much to the chagrin of Mr. Stephenson and Mr. Turley.. and to the delight of petitioners. Businesses like AT&T and Ernst&Young might grow their market by growing their product line and available services. But, the Boy Scouts of America did not provide the service it has to this country by being all things to all people. The BSA owes its existence to parents who have been volunteer adult leaders who have realized the value of involving themselves and their children in an organization which represents the values expressed by the Scout Oath and Scout Law. As we observe the decline in the importance of these values in the life of our society, so we will see the decline of Scouting and other organizations like it in America.

The Church of Jesus Christ of

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints continues to grow despite the "antiquated ideals" it espouses. I suppose they are the exception.


Being a private organization for the last 103 years and teaching young men to have morals and values, why should they now allow gays in? Don't I have enough to worry about in my sons' lives? Now I have to worry if they go on a campout with a gay leader or, for that matter, a gay scout. Cmon, I'll pull my kids out if they don't get their act together.

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