For the first time since the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) voted to allow gay youth to participate, an adult leader has been forced out of his position for being gay. NBC News broke the story.
The 49-year-old troop leader, Geoff McGrath, has been married to his husband for 20 years. As a young man, he rose through the ranks of BSA and achieved the status of Eagle Scout. More than 25 years ago, Geoff struggled with both BSA and the Mormon Church to be accepted as an openly gay man. In recent years, though, he was invited to be a Scoutmaster and was dedicated to running an inclusive troop. Now, however, he is being forcibly removed from his post.
Geoff told NBC News, "It's extremely disappointing to not be fully supported and defended in my membership. They are complaining that the problem is a distraction to Scouting and they don't seem to understand that the distraction is self-inflicted."
A spokesperson for the BSA, Deron Smith, commented to NBC News, "Our policy is that we do not ask people about their sexual orientation, and it's not an issue until they deliberately inject it into Scouting in an inappropriate fashion."
Monica Corsaro, Reverend of Rainier Beach United Methodist Church, which is Geoff's troop's charter partner, said they full intend "to stand with Geoff, and we're going to stand with the Boy Scouts. Because at the end of the day, this is about raising youth and having good role models."
While BSA lifted its national ban on gay youth in May 2013, an anti-LGBT ban against adult leaders is still in place. To learn more, check out glaad.org/scouts