Boy Scouts of America Ousts Gay Scoutmaster – Fair? [POLL]
Question: if a scout leader has been known to be gay to his outfit and eventually proclaims he (or she) is gay; should they remain as scout leaders – or be forced to give up their positions – despite being admired by their troops?
It’s happened time and time again that once you as a scoutmaster come out, you’re no longer welcome – and a new scoutmaster will have to be found.
That’s the situation one Seattle scoutmaster found himself in.
Geoff McGrath is his name, and he had never hidden the fact that he’s gay.
His troop, part of the Rainier Beach United Methodist church Boy Scout and Cub Scout Troop 98 knew of his sexual orientation; and according to Rainier Beach United Methodist Church Pastor Rev. Monica Corsaro, last spring, in this story from kirotv.com:
"There was no hiding anything so this kind of angle that he's coming out now we have a policy here is no one has to hide. Everybody can be who they are. When we applied to be in the system with the Boy Scouts we did not hide anything," sRainier Beach United Methodist Church.
McGrath said it was after doing interviews with the media on his Boy Scout troop that he heard that the Boy Scouts of America would be revoking his membership. He never received an official notification until Tuesday morning. On Monday, McGrath said someone from the legal team at BSA called him with questions.
"He insultingly asked question are you an openly avowed affirmed homosexual I told him I thought that was an insulting question but if the question if I’m gay the answer is yes. It’s very easy for me to say that," said McGrath.
No one at the Seattle Boy Scouts of America office would comment on the situation. A spokesperson emailed this statement:
"As a part of our longstanding leadership standards policy, the Boy Scouts of America does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of our members. We don't believe the topic of sexual orientation has a role in Scouting and it is not discussed unless it is deliberately injected into Scouting. Recently, this individual provided both Scouting national leadership and the media with information that led to his removal as a leader. The BSA does not have an agenda on the matter of sexual orientation; we remain focused on working together to deliver the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training," said Smith.
Corsaro said she's saddened by the situation.
"Boyscouting seems to be loyalty that's one of the tenets. Where's their loyalty to one of their own?" Corsaro added, "So it's OK for kids between 8 and 18 to be gay and then at 18 they're not to be gay anymore?"
Last year Boy Scouts of America changed its policy to allow gay kids and teens to be Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. It did not change its policy on banning adults from the organization. McGrath said he thinks the policy still might change some day.
I find it funny that his undoing was an interview in which he may have gone on the record claiming to be gay – although it had been known by his troop and the organization sponsoring the troop for some time.
And his case isn't the only one like that.
For his sake, and the sake’s of hundreds of others like him, their policy needs to change.
The pastor makes the point loud and clear.
That is, it’s ok to be gay up until you’re 18, but once you hit that magic age, you may as well hit the road.
The fact that he’s gay has nothing to do with his ability to be a leader and inspire loyalty – a lesson the national organization could probably learn.
Should the Boy Scouts of American allow gay scoutmasters?