Jepsen jumped on the boycotting bandwagon of the 2013 National Scouting Jamboree last week, following in Train’s footsteps.
The national organization’s ban on openly gay members just doesn’t seem to sit well with these two artists. Or GLAAD member and Eagle Scout Derek Nance, for that matter.
Nance created a Change.org petition asking Train and Jepsen to back out of the concert, which happens every four years, due to the Boy Scout’s anti-gay policy. With over 62,000 signatures in just four days, both Train and Jepsen noticed.
Nance was a Boy Scout camp leader for 10 years, but decided he could no longer stand lying about his sexuality. He is now no longer allowed to be part of Boy Scouts, an organization that “has been an instrumental part of my life,” he said.
The Jamboree, which will be held in West Virginia in July, is projected to bring over 50,000 people. “Among those 50,000 are countless LGBT young people who are forced to hid who they really are, in fear of being kicked out of the organization they love,” Nance wrote. “This has to change.”
Other anti-gay organizations helped push for the two headlining bands to drop out as well, including GLAAD. As a faithful GLAAD twitter follower, I was biting my nails and refreshing my feed every three minutes to see if Jepsen had cancelled her act in the Jamboree. It was a worrisome few days, but our girl did pull through.
“As an artist who believes in equality for all people, I will not be participating in the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree this summer,” Jepsen tweeted. “I always have and will continue to support the LGBT community on a global level…and stay informed on the ever changing landscape in the ongoing battle for gay rights in this country and across the globe.”
Train is willing to play if the Boy Scouts lifts their ban on gay members.
“Train strongly opposes any kind of policy that questions the equality of any American citizen,” the band said. “We have always seen the BSA as a great and noble organization. We look forward to participating in the Jamboree this summer, as long as they make the right decision before then.”
The Boy Scouts seem to be unfazed by the dropping out of their two main acts for the summer. Boy Scouts of America spokesman, Deron Smith said, “We appreciate everyone’s right to express an opinion and remain focused on delivering a great Jamboree program for our Scouts.”
Uhm, name one good Jamboree that doesn’t include Train or the song “Call Me, Maybe?”
Bet you can’t.
With over 140 petitions on Change.org with over 1.6 million signatures urging the BSA to accept gays, it’s almost impressive that the Boy Scouts haven’t lifted the LGBT ban yet.
Hopefully the message Train and Jepsen are sending to the Boy Scouts makes it clear that this ignorance toward the LGBT community will not be tolerated.
So end this ban already Boy Scouts of America! Then, call Carly Rae, maybe.