This, of course, won't fly. Tyrrell isn't sure if it's because she's gay or because she raised questions about finances. Neither is a suitable reason for her. Several parents from the group have complained. They want her back. Many knew about her orientation and they didn't care. They're worried about their children. "They're asking questions they shouldn't have to ask at this point." "I teach my children to judge people on their actions, whether you agree with their lifestyle or not." Gay rights groups are petitioning the Scouts to change their policy. "This just won't do at all!"
I have no reason to question Jennifer Tyrrell's ability as a Scout leader. I have no reason to worry about her "infecting the kids" or any such thing. And certainly "gay rights groups" can petition the Scouts to change their policy. These are not my concerns. My concern is the precedent. Do the Scouts, as a private organization, have the right to maintain their own standards? If not, who else does not? How far is it from "The Scouts must not be allowed to hold their position on this subject" to "The Church must not be allowed to hold their position on this subject"? We've already seen Christians sued (and lost) for this kind of thing. When does the public and the State get to decide the standards and beliefs of a private organization, and when does the public and the State get to decide the standards and beliefs of the Church? They don't seem very far apart.
As a footnote, I'm interested in the similarities between the concerns of these parents and the concerns of illegal immigration protesters, brought to light recently in Arizona's SB1070 in front of the Supreme Court. The outcry in the latter is against "immigration policy", racism, and anti-immigration. This completely misses the point. SB1070 is an immigration enforcement law requiring law enforcement officials to enforce federal law, not establish policy. Immigration policy says you must have the proper documentation and permission to reside in this country. When people don't meet that requirement, they are violating the law. It isn't "immigration policy" or racism or even "anti-immigration" to enforce the law. In the case of the former, it's the same. There is as rule. Tyrrell violated that rule. The Scouts enforced the rule. "Oh, my, what do I tell my kids??!!" How about this? Tell them to follow the rules. Tell them that their Scout leader violated the rules and was required to stop violating the rules. This isn't homophobia or a determination of the morality of homosexuality. It's a question of rules. There is a rule. It was violated. Violating rules has consequences. If those kind of lessons are too tough for this Scout troop -- if these are "questions they shouldn't have to ask at this point" -- I don't know what is. Do we follow rules, or do we violate them? What happens when we violate rules? These are the questions kids that age should be facing.
*Some may not get the reference to "Then they came for the Scouts ..." It's a reference to a famous quote from a German pastor on the inactivity of Germans over the Nazi atrocities:
First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.