The Boy Scouts of America has come under renewed fire over its controversial ban on gays after it sacked a Tiger Scout leader on the grounds that she was a lesbian.
Now, parents who were aware of Jennifer Tyrrell's sexual orientation well before she took the boys of Ohio Pack 109 on camps and helped them build race cars for the annual Pinewood Derby, have rallied to her defence. Rob Dunn, a father of one of the scouts, said: "I teach my children to judge people on their actions, whether you agree with their lifestyle or not."
The Boy Scouts of America, whose oath calls for members to be "morally straight", maintains that as a private organisation it has the right to exclude gays and atheists. That stance was upheld by the US Supreme Court in 2000 but has led many state and local governments to deny support for the Scouts.
"She wasn't trying to hide anything," said Mr Dunn.
Ms Tyrrell said she was removed after she took over as treasurer of the local Boy Scout troop – which oversees Tiger Scouts, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts – and raised questions about the troop's finances.