A church in Washington state is
standing by the leader of a Boy Scout Troop it sponsors after he was
banned for being gay.
Geoff McGrath, a 49-year-old married
Eagle Scout and leader of Troop 98 in Seattle, had his membership
revoked by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) after the organization
found out that McGrath is gay.
Local BSA officials said they did not
inquire about McGrath's sexual orientation when he started a troop
Sharon Moulds of the Chief Seattle
Council said that she was not aware that McGrath is gay until after
NBC News contacted her in the course of preparing a story on Troop
98 and its leader.
“It was then that we became aware of
his intentions to make a public statement about his orientation and
use our program as a means to further a personal agenda,” Moulds
told NBC News in an email.
The BSA ended its policy banning openly
gay scouts in January, but gays over 18 are not allowed to
participate in the program.
Despite knowing it went against BSA
policy, Rainer Beach United Methodist Church asked McGrath to serve
“It's very disappointing that a
policy that is so blatantly discriminatory is being acted out, and so
I think it makes us stand more firm and be more clear that Geoffrey
is our Scoutmaster and Geoffrey will remain our Scoutmaster,”
Reverend Monica Corsaro told Seattle's
King5. “In my humble opinion, I don't feel like I've been
communicated to by the Boy Scouts of America. Geoffrey also received
an email which I was copied on but I have received no direct
communication from the Boy Scouts of America.”
McGrath added: “I have not tendered
my resignation. Until I am relieved of my duty properly, I stand in
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