More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
Ten Scouts resign in show of support for fired gay staffer
Ten staffers at a California Boy Scouts camp have resigned in a show of support for fellow staffer and Eagle Scout Tim Griffin (right), who was fired last week because he’s gay. Griffin had served at the camp for eight years.
"They told me in a very harsh way that I don't embody the true Scouting spirit," Griffin told The Sacramento Bee of his firing.
A representative for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) denies that Griffin was fired because of his sexual orientation, however, saying, "What it came down to was his failure to comply with management regarding a uniform issue. We gave him plenty of warnings.”
But fellow staffers aren’t buying it. "It was absolutely about his sexual orientation, no question about it," Eagle Scout Graham Littlejohn, told The Bee.
Last week, the BSA announced that a secret committee had reviewed and unanimously decided to maintain the Scouts’ ban on gay troops and leaders, noting that, for the Scouts, discrimination is “absolutely the best policy.”
Pressure continues to mount, however, with over 300,000 Americans signing a Change.org petition calling on the BSA to end its long history of discrimination, members of the BSA Executive Board speaking out in support of ending the ban, and media outlets such as The New York Times urging the Scouts to accept gay members.
Additionally, thousands of Scouts are speaking out against the policy and joining Eagle Scout Zach Wahls in helping create change from within the BSA through organizations like Scouts for Equality. Some have even returned their badges in protest of the discrimination.
And over 135,000 Americans – Scouts and civilians alike – are calling on the BSA to allow its Executive Board to vote on ending the ban.
What’s clear is that Americans are not tolerating this policy, and they’re showing no signs of standing down. Now, it’s up to the BSA to answer their call.