Ernst & Young CEO Will Use Position On Boy Scouts Board To Advocate For LGBT Inclusion

Ernst & Young CEO James Turley with a Boy Scout

In April, the removal of Ohio mom Jen Tyrrell from her position as a Cub Scout den leader purely because she is a lesbian, created a national outrage. Last week, the Boy Scouts of America agreed to consider a proposal to end its nationwide ban on LGBT people and leave the decision up to local chartering groups.

Yesterday, Tyrrell launched a petition encouraging the CEOs of AT&T and Ernst & Young — both members of the national board of Boy Scouts of America — to endorse ending the group’s long-standing ban on LGBT Scouts and leaders.

Last night, Ernst & Young CEO and Global Chairman James Turley told CNBC that he supports ending the ban:

TURLEY: Ernst & Young is proud to have such a strong record in LGBT inclusiveness. As CEO, I know that having an inclusive culture produces the best results, is the right thing for our people and makes us a better organization. My experience has led me to believe that an inclusive environment is important throughout our society and I am proud to be a leader on this issue. I support the meaningful work of the Boy Scouts in preparing young people for adventure, leadership, learning and service, however the membership policy is not one I would personally endorse. As I have done in leading Ernst & Young to being a most inclusive organization, I intend to continue to work from within the BSA Board to actively encourage dialogue and sustainable progress.

The petition has now been edited to continue to push AT&T Chairman, CEO, and President Randall Stephenson to follow suit.

For more context on the proposed change, check out the ThinkProgress interview with Eagle Scout Zach Wahls.


AT&T’s Randall Stephenson issue a tepid statement to CNBC today saying only:

STEPHENSON: Diversity and inclusion are part of AT&T’s culture and operations, and we’re proud to be recognized as a leader in this area. We don’t agree with every policy of every organization we support, nor would we expect them to agree with us on everything. Our belief is that change at any organization must come from within to be successful and sustainable.

Share Update