Ed Murray, Mayor (D) of Seattle, and the members of Seattle City Council have written a letter in support of Geoff McGrath, leader of a local Boy Scouts troop, whom the national organization wants to oust for being openly gay. The letter was addressed to the Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).
According to KING 5 News, the letter reads:
We believe that Scouting's core message teaches admirable values and respect for others. The BSA's decision undermines its credibility in claiming those values. It also does tremendous damage to the ability of the Chief Seattle Council to carry out the mission of Scouting in our region."
Mayor Murray is a dedicated advocate for LGBT equality. During his time in office, he helped to pass anti-discrimination laws the included protections for people who are gay, lesbian, and bi, and he also was integral in the creation of domestic partnerships in 2007. Mayor Murray is openly gay and married to his partner of more than twenty years.
While the BSA voted to lift its discriminatory ban on gay youth in May 2013, adults who identify as LGBT are still barred from holding leadership positions within the organization. Despite the top-down attempt to remove Geoff from the role of Scoutmaster and revoke his registration, his troop and local community members have rallied to support him and to keep him in his position. Additionally, Rainier Beach United Methodist Church, a chartering partner with Geoff's Troop 98, recently hired an attorney and is considering legal action against the BSA in support of Geoff.
GLAAD first started calls for the Boy Scouts of America to end its ban on gay Scouts and Scout leaders in April 2012 after Jennifer Tyrrell, a mom and den leader from Ohio was removed from her 7-year-old’s Cub Scout pack for being gay. Tyrrell’s Change.org petition has attracted more than 350,000 signatures in support of ending the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay Scouts and adult leaders. To learn more about GLAAD's continuous efforts to bring full equality to scouting, visit glaad.org/scouts.