(Photo: Reuters/Mike Cassese)
Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepsen, who shot to fame in 2012 with her hit single "Call Me Maybe," has cancelled her planned performance at the 2013 National Scouting Jamboree in West Virginia in July over the Boy Scout's ban on 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 declared on Twitter.
"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," the 27-year-old singer from British Columbia continued.
The Boy Scouts of America are currently reviewing their century-old policy on not allowing gay members, and will announce their decision on whether to uphold or drop the ban in May. Many religious bodies have publicly called on the Boy Scouts to continue its membership policy, or change it at the risk of losing members.
"Every American who believes in freedom of thought and religious liberty should be alarmed by the attacks upon the Boy Scouts, whose oath includes that members should be 'morally straight,'" the Family Research Council and 41 other allied organizations said in an advertisement.
"To compromise moral principles under political and financial pressure would teach the boys cowardice, not courage."
While Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and executive editor of The Christian Post, argues, "Why would you put adult leaders and mentors in places of authority and leadership of a boys' organization when they have defined themselves as 'homosexual,' meaning they are sexual attracted to males? It would be the equivalent of allowing heterosexual men to be scout masters for Girl Scout troops. As one wise youth minister once observed, 'Sexual attraction happens.'"
"If you put men in mentoring positions of trust and authority in camp-out situations with young teens to whom they are sexually attracted, either heterosexually or homosexually, human tragedies will follow. To deny the reality of human nature is to embrace a political correctness that defies common sense."
Jepsen's decision to withdraw from the planned concert may have been influenced by a number of online petitions that called on her to "do the right thing," and show her support for gay rights. A Change.org petitions started by gay Eagle Scout Derek Nance urging her to protest the concert was signed by over 60,000 people.
The other headlining group at the Jamboree, Grammy Award-winning band Train, said that they would wait until the Scout's decision in May to decide whether to drop out or not. "When we booked this show for the Boy Scouts of America we were not aware of any policy barring openly gay people from participation within the organization," Train said in a statement.
Jepsen placed third in the Canadian Idol 2007 competition, but gained global fame last year with her "Call Me Maybe" song, with which she topped several charts and won many awards. The video for the song included a humorous gay twist at the end.
"When we shot the 'Call Me Maybe' video, we weren't even thinking the ending was not normal. I have so many gay friends that I love," Jepsen previously said about the video. "It's a regular thing. And if my video is encouraging that mind frame with other children and other people – well, it's about time, I guess!"
The Canadian singer has not made her religious views known, though she has been performing with fellow Canadian star Justin Bieber in his "Believe" tour, who has spoken out about his Christian faitha number of times in the past.
"I'm a Christian, I believe in God, I believe that Jesus died on a cross for my sins. I believe that I have a relationship and I'm able to talk to him and really, he's the reason I'm here," Bieber has said.