The Boy Scouts of America have fired Geoff McGrath, the scoutmaster of Seattle’s Troop 98. What’s unique about this incident is that it is believed that McGrath was the only openly gay scoutmaster in America.
The organization as a rule does not condone openly gay scoutmasters. They’ve only recently allowed gay youths to be scouts.
The alleged reason for McGrath’s firing is that he was “deliberately injecting” his sexuality into the job.
Said spokesman Deron Smith, “Our policy is that we do not ask people about their sexual orientation.”
McGrath was let go shortly after NBC News contacted the Boy Scouts of America after his interview. The organization claims they had no idea that McGrath was an openly gay male prior to being contacted for a statement.
The 49-year-old told King 5 News this isn’t true. He claimed the Boy Scouts, “were fully aware” of his “prior activism.”
The Boy Scouts of America says they were concerned that the interview with the openly gay scoutmaster would somehow serve a “personal agenda” that violated their policies.
McGrath said that he’s “extremely disappointed” that he was let go.
— Change.org (@Change) April 1, 2014
“They are complaining that [homosexuality] is a distraction to Scouting and they don’t seem to understand that the distraction is self-inflicted.”
The situation represents a two-edged sword, particularly for non-heterosexual members.
It seems that attempting to participate as a Boy Scout while being gay is asking to be ostracized. You mustn’t tell anyone you’re gay as admission alone disagrees with the values of their establishment.
The problem arises as there seems to be no consideration as to the message this sends to young gay scouts who may be talented and dedicated are left feeling unwanted.
The aggressive stance of the Boy Scouts towards openly gay males is especially controversial given the organization has come under heavy fire for their failure to act on nearly a century’s worth of child sexual abuse allegations.
Leaving some to wonder…exactly who are they trying to protect and from what?
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