Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepsen is withdrawing her scheduled participation in the forthcoming Boy Scouts of America summer jamboree concert in support of gay rights, as the organization excludes its gay members from the quadrennial event. The 27-year-old singer is the second headlining act to pull out of the gig, after rock band Train decided last week they would no longer perform at the show over the same premise, unless the Boy Scouts organization changes its stance on its gay members.
"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."
Both Jepsen and Train were targeted by an online petition initiated by gay rights advocacy group Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), after the two acts were announced as headliners for the July West Virginia concert. The group had collected 60,000 signatures calling for the artists to back out of the anti-gay show.
Despite the withdrawals, the Boy Scouts said the summer jamboree concert would proceed as planned. "We appreciate everyone's right to express an opinion and remain focused on delivering a great Jamboree program for our Scouts," stated Deron Smith, the organization's spokesman.
The 103-year-old Boy Scouts of America organization has a longstanding position on gays but said in January that it was open to removing their national ban on gays, leaving the decision to local chapters. Last month, however, it delayed a vote on ending the restriction, pushing back the decision at least until May.