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How Much Did Online Activism Influence The Boy Scouts' Decision To Allow Gay Scouts?

Courtney Collins

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Tracing the events that led to the Boy Scouts' vote to allow gay scouts, bracing for Perry Power post-session, traveling Texas via Bob Dylan's lyrics, chewing on best practices with Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn Saturday in Dallas and more.

Groups like GLAAD and Scouts for Equality celebrated a major victory yesterday as the Irving-based Boy Scouts of America voted to lift its ban on gay scouts. But wants those who contributed 1.8 million signatures to 124 petitions against the anti-gay policy to claim their part as "online activists" as well.

In a timeline called "How 1.8 Million People Ended The Boy Scouts' Ban," shows the number of signatures growing alongside events that led to the ban's lift, like when UPS and Intel pulled donations from the group. Whether or not you consider the online signature a form of activism, the twists and turns are interesting to track.

You can read more about the how last night's decision angered supporters of the anti-gay rules - and the remaining ban on gay adults in the organization - in this piece by KERA's Lauren Silverman.


  • With Lege's End Comes Perry Power Hour: Gov. Rick Perry has taken his ability to appoint those in charge of the executive branch to the max like none before him, the Texas Tribune's Ross Ramsey writes. But as lawmakers depart the Capitol, it's time for Perry to flex his veto muscle. And that's a well-conditioned one for the governor, who's vetoed 273 bills since he took office in 2000. Perry has until June 16 to decide which bills from this session should become law. [Texas Tribune]

  • Tour Bob Dylan's Texas: All wanderers are not lost. Take Bob Dylan, for example. In honor of his 72nd birthday today, Slate assembled a map of every city, country, state, town and street the folk legend ever pined for or paid homage to in his songs - from Red Hook to Russia. A reminder from "If You Ever Go To Houston" on 2009's Together Through Life:  "If you ever go to Dallas, say hello to Mary-Ann / Say I'm still looking along the trigger, hanging on the best I can." [Slate]

  • 'Cue Memorial Day Weekend: Before you call that backyard grill party a barbecue, consider Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn's refresher on what the word actually means: “Barbecue is meat that has been smoked or cooked over wood. What you’re doing on your gas grill – burgers, hot dogs – doesn’t really count as barbecue. Even steaks – not barbecue,” he told Think host Krys Boyd on Wednesday in the studio. This is kindergarten-level stuff for Vaughn, who dropped some helpful science on proper takeout transport and the best places to go in North Texas for barbecue worth writing about. Find more advice and the full podcast here. Vaughn signs copies of his book The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue on Saturday, at a Meat and Greet (read: barbecue!) hosted by Four Corners Brewery in West Dallas. The public is invited.

  • Summer Cut Is Very Much Next Week at Gexa: Our neighbors who run KXT 91.7 have been looking a bit more spritely than usual around the studios - and it's not just Mark Abuzzahab's new haircut, after all. Turns out the Summer Cut festival is actually already here. As in June 1, a week from Saturday at Gexa. The show begins at 4 p.m. and boasts new-groovers Matt & Kim, classic songmakers The Avett Brothers and other big names played by the station. Find info here.

Lyndsay Knecht is assistant producer for Think.