The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has
revoked the scouting charter of a church in Washington state that
stood by the leader of a Boy Scout troop it sponsored after he was
banned for being gay.
After the BSA found out that Geoff
McGrath was gay, the organization revoked his membership.
Rainier Beach United Methodist Church,
a gay-inclusive church, had asked McGrath to serve as scoutmaster of
Troop 98 and stood by him.
The BSA ended its policy banning openly
gay scouts in January, but gays over 18 are not allowed to
participate in the program.
In response to McGrath's firing,
Reverend Monica Corsaro told local media: “I think it makes us
stand more firm and be more clear that Geoffrey is our scoutmaster
and Geoffrey will remain our scoutmaster.”
On Thursday, the BSA notified the
church that its charter was being revoked.
“As you are aware, the policy of the
Boy Scouts of America does not allow open or avowed homosexuals to
serve as adult volunteer leaders,” the
letter states. “Nevertheless, Rainier Beach United Methodist
Church has stated that it will not remove [McGrath] as a leader and
will continue to allow him to serve as an adult leader in violation
of the charter agreement and the policies of the Boy Scouts of
America. As a result of this refusal to comply with the policies,
guidelines, rules, and regulations of the Boy Scouts of America,
Rainer Beach United Methodist Church is hereby advised that it is no
longer an authorized chartered organization and may no longer use the
Scouting program or any of its registered marks or brands.”
Corsaro said the church has “acquired
council to assess our options.”