The Boy Scouts of America made the harsh decision to revoke a Seattle, Washington troop’s charter after they continued to support their openly gay troopmaster, Geoff McGrath. After Geoff was fired at the beginning of April 2014, the troop’s 15 members ignored the BSA’s decision and continued to meet with him. Now, the scoutmaster is blasting the BSA by calling their decision ‘irreverent’ and ‘unconscionable.’
Geoff McGrath, 49, was hand-chosen by Rainier Beach United Methodist Church’s pastor to set up and run Troop 98 after the Boy Scouts of America gave them charter last year. Since then, the openly gay troopmaster has been fired for violating the Boy Scouts policy that homosexuals are not allowed to be adult leaders of a troop.
Boy Scouts of America Revoke Seattle Charter
The controversy surrounding the Boy Scouts of America‘s anti-equality policy continues.
At the beginning of April 2014, BSA officials found out that the troopmaster of Troop 98 in Seattle, Washington was an openly gay man. They promptly fired Geoff McGrath, citing their policy that states they will not allow open or avowed homosexuals to serve as volunteer adult leaders.
However, the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church where Troop 98 is chartered ignored the BSA’s ruling, and continued to meet with their beloved troopmaster. All 15 members of the troop, along with their families, were well aware that Geoff is a homosexual from the start.
When the BSA found out that Troop 98 refused to fire their gay troopmaster, they revoked the troop’s charter. The BSA’s attorney Steven McGowan released a statement defending the group’s decision to fire Geoff and revoke Troop 98’s charter.
“As you are aware the policy of the Boy Scouts of America does not allow open or avowed homosexuals to serve as volunteer adult leaders,” Steve said in a letter.
What makes matters worse is that the BSA is claiming that their policy is not discriminatory, and instead the best decision they can make for America’s youth.
“[BSA] does not have an agenda on the matter of sexual orientation; we remain focused on working together to deliver the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training,” the organization claims.
Geoff McGrath ‘Disappointed’ By Boy Scouts Decision
Though Geoff was out of the country with his partner of over 20 years when the BSA revoked Troop 98’s charter, he provided a statement to Scouts for Equality.
“I’m stunned and disappointed to hear the news,” he shared. “Pastor Corsaro specifically sought out someone with my Scouting background to help get these units off the ground, and her church is now being told to violate their religious convictions. It’s unconscionable and irreverent.”
Scouts for Equality has been heavily involved in the controversy, and revealed that the BSA started questioning Geoff’s sexuality after an NBC report about the troop was shared online.
“McGrath, abiding by the Scout’s commitment to trustworthiness, acknowledged his sexual orientation to the BSA, which in turn, responded by revoking McGrath’s status as Scoutmaster,” Scouts for Equality wrote on their official website once news broke about Troop 98’s charter being revoked.
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— Lauren Cox