Geoff McGrath believes he is the first openly gay Scoutmaster to be removed since the BSA’s controversial ballot ruling last year that allowed gay youth — but not gay adults — to pa…
Forty-nine-year-old Geoff McGrath, leader of Troop 98 in Seattle’s Rainier Beach, is reportedly the first gay troop leader to be removed from the Boy Scouts of America.
The Boy Scouts’ National Council voted last year to allow gay youth to participate as of Jan. 1, but not gay adults.
NBC News had been working on a story about Troop 98 when this statement was released from the BSA yesterday:
The BSA claimed McGrath “deliberately injected” his sexuality into the organization by speaking to NBC.Staff / Reuters
Sharon Moulds, a member of the Seattle BSA Council, claimed she only was made aware of McGrath’s sexual orientation when NBC News contacted her.
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.
McGrath, who has been with his husband for 20 years, claimed he never hid his sexual orientation from Scouting leaders when applying for the leadership position.
Rainier Beach United Methodist Church was the troop’s charter partner and Rev. Monica Corsaro insisted McGrath serve as Scoutmaster for the inclusive troop.
It is BSA policy not to inquire about sexual orientation during the application for a leadership position. Spokesman Deron Smith said in an email to NBC:
Our policy is that we do not ask people about their sexual orientation, and it’s not an issue until they deliberately inject it into Scouting in an inappropriate fashion […] We spoke with Mr. McGrath today and based on the information he provided, the National Council has revoked his registration.
“They are complaining that the problem is a distraction to Scouting and they don’t seem to understand that the distraction is self-inflicted,” McGrath stated.
“It’s extremely disappointing to not be fully supported and defended in my membership.”
McGrath has not yet received official word of his dismissal. “I’ll continue to serve as Scoutmaster of Troop 98 until I’m relieved of my responsibility by the Pastor,” he wrote on his Facebook.
Source: Sarah Karlan for Buzzfeed
Starting January 1 of 2014, the Boy Scouts of America will put into practice the inclusive policy that welcomes openly gay youth interested in joining the organization.
After much lobbying from grassroots advocates and Scouting families across the country, BSA approved the policy in May 2013 with support from 60% of the voting committee members. While openly LGBT parents and adults are still banned from being Scout leaders, 2014 will start off with a giant victory towards equality in Scouting.
Brad Haddock, a BSA national executive board member, said he anticipates the implementation to a be a non-issue within the troops, according to the Associated Press. “My hope is there will be the same effect this Jan. 1 as the Y2K scare.” He continued, “it’s business as usual, nothing happens, and we move forward.”
The AP further reported that the Roman Catholic and Mormon Churches, major donors to BSA, plan to continue supporting the organization. On its website, the National Catholic Committee on Scouting spoke on the issue, and stated, “The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that individuals who disclose a same-sex attraction are to be treated with the same dignity due all human beings.”
While some individual parishes and community members may be cautious of what the lifted ban will bring, GLAAD is confident that equal treatment for all kids and teens, ultimately, can only enhance the Boy Scouts’ values of service and participating citizenship.
Bigoted Antigay ‘Christian’ Version of Boy Scouts, “Trail Life USA’ Launches
The right-wing, christian extremist, anti-gay version of the Boy Scouts of America called The Hitlerjugend Trail Life USA launched yesterday to much “indifference” with special guest speaker Mike “Go Fuck Yourself”Huckabee!
The Washington Times reports:
At the opening session, John Stemberger, chairman of the board of Trail Life USA, teased the crowd saying he would not be surprised if there were “spies” from Grapevine, Texas — BSA’s home base — in the audience. That would make sense, since everyone from supporters to the curious want to know what’s being planned, he said, adding that Trail Life USA will not be “anti-BSA.” The conference’s theme is “Honoring the Legacy, Raising the Standard.” Trail Life USA’s name, drawn from more than 300 options, was carefully vetted and is intended not to be political or controversial, organizers said. “Trail” refers to a pathway and being outdoors, but also symbolizes the passage of life, where there are moral choices, and right and wrong paths, said Mr. Stemberger.
Trail Life USA’s Membership Standards include that members do not engage in or promote sexual immorality of any kind, or engage in behavior that would become a distraction. Also that “scouts” for lack of a better word, must be biologically male children under the age of 18.
Trail Life USA states that the basis for the program’s ethical and moral standards are found in the Bible. and that that any sexual activity outside the context of the covenant of marriage between one man and one woman is sinful before God and therefore inconsistent with the values and principles of the program.
Gee. I wonder if self-flagellation is a merit-badge?
You can check out their indoctrination video here and be sure to visit Trail Life USA’s Facebook page HERE and leave a message..
HOUSTON (AP) — The Southern Baptist Convention has approved a resolution opposing the Boy Scouts of America's new policy allowing gay Scouts.
The resolution also calls on the Boy Scouts to remove executive and board leaders who tried to allow gays as both members and leaders without consulting the many religious groups that sponsor Scout troops.
While the resolution does not recommend that Southern Baptists drop ties with the Scouts, it expresses support for those churches and families that decide to do so.
It also encourages churches and families who choose to remain with the Scouts to work toward the reversal of the new membership policy.
Delegates to the annual meeting of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination voted on the resolution on Wednesday in Houston.
BREAKING: SBC passes resolution condemning Boy Scouts’ allowance of LGBTQ youth
— Justin Gibson (@JGibsonDem)June 12, 2013
Boy Scouts and adult volunteers wore their uniforms Sunday as they marched in Utah’s gay pride parade — defying a leader of the youth organization who had said they couldn’t do so under the organization’s guidelines prohibiting advocating political or social positions.
The Utah Pride Festival Parade came a little more than a week after national delegates of the Boy Scouts of America approved allowing gay youth to join, ending controversial membership guidelines that had in recent years dogged one of the nation’s most popular organizations for children and teens.
"It just feels like the right thing to do," Kenji Mikesell, an 18-year-old Eagle Scout and high school senior still active with his troop, said before leaving for the parade in Salt Lake City in his uniform.
"It’s kind of a way of saying we want you here,” added Mikesell, who marched with Mormons Building Bridges and whose troop is chartered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Scouting has been a very positive influence in my life, and I’d like to see more people take advantage of it now that the ban has been lifted.”
Peter Brownstein, a Scoutmaster in Salt Lake City who helped organize the Boy Scouts participation in the march, said a few adults and youth marched at the front of the parade in uniform, including a Cub Scout, a Boy Scout and his stepdad, an Eagle Scout, who borrowed a uniform to wear, and an Asst. Scoutmaster.
But a local leader of the Boy Scouts had said Friday that they were prohibited from doing so.
"We as a Scouting movement do not advocate any social or political position, so I reminded Mr. Brownstein that we do not wear uniforms at an event like this," said Rick Barnes, chief scout executive of the Great Salt Lake Council, which consists of more than 75,000 youth. "We do not, as Boy Scouts, show support for any social or political position. We’re neutral. If he wants to attend the parade and others do that are Scouts or Scouters, they’re welcome to do so as private citizens wearing whatever they want except their uniform.
“That’s our official position. It always has been, there’s nothing new here,” he added. “We just don’t want people to use the Boy Scouts to advocate their positions.”
It wasn’t clear what the consequences of wearing their uniforms would be.
Scouts for Equality, a group that campaigns for the LGBT community to be welcomed in Scouting, had said that members of the Boy Scouts have previously marched in pride parades elsewhere. But they called for youth and adults in the Utah Scouting program to abide by Barnes’ call and not wear their formal uniforms in the parade.
Within minutes of a news that the Boy Scouts of America had voted to end the organization’s ban on gay scouts last week, John Stemberger, who had been leading the fight to retain the ban, announced that he was removing his sons from the program and ending his affiliation with it.
On Friday, Stemberger joined End Times radio host Rick Wiles to discuss the vote as the two lamented that the “God-hating socialists” are “ripping the heart out of the American people” and warning that this was just the latest battle in the revolution being waged by Communist-Marxists to destroy this nation:
Wiles: This is what the God-hating socialists in this country is doing to the fabric of America; they’re ripping the heart out of the American people.
Stemberger: Yes. That’s exactly right and it breaks my hear. It literally breaks my heart.
Wiles: You know John, what is really sad about this is that the Marxist-Communists that are in control of this country right now - I mean, I don’t know how you feel, but we really are under a Communist revolution. And if anybody is around fifty to a hundred years from now and looks back, they’re going to go ‘wow, there was a Communist revolution taking place at the beginning of the 21st century.’ And whether we survive it or not, that remains to be determined.
But that sad thing is that the Marxist-Communists in America have won on this issue regardless of what happens. Because if parents keep their boys in the Boy Scouts, the Communists have still won because the boys will be eventually lead towards accepting homosexuality. They’re going to destroy the moral culture of hundreds of thousands of boys all over America.
But if parents pull their children out, the Marxist-Communists have won also because they’ve destroyed a fine organization that for more than a hundred years has stood for honor and integrity and God and country. So either way, the Marxist-Communists have won on this issue.
Stemberger: Yep. Yep. It’s very sad.
Source: SoundCloud / RightWingWatch
Copyright ImageClick to View Boy Scout Pascal Tessier is congratulated by Justin Buckford of Scouts for Equality, after hearing that the Boy Scouts of America had passed a resolution allowing openly gay scouts. Tessier is a Life scout who was unable to become an Eagle scout unless the resolution passed…
Governor of Texas and failed GOP 2012 Presidential candidate Rick Perry took to Twitter this morning to pray to the Lord Almighty that the Boy Scouts of America uphold the teachings of Jesus and discriminate against those filthy, filthy gays.
Rick Perry got his way…SORT OF. The Boy Scouts of America will now allow openly gay scouts, however they are still banning gay scout leaders. Basically, the Boy Scouts would like all the gays under 18 to stand up tall and proud and come out of that closet…and then promptly get yourself back in that closet when you turn 18.
Still, some are VERY UNHAPPY that the Boy Scouts are no longer discriminating against gay CHILDREN. The following people are not only horrible bigots, but even more embarrassing, they are with the man who can’t remember three things, Rick Perry!
“Gays want everything nowadays.”
“Why do ‘homos’ infiltrate ever piece of society?!?!”
“‘Faggots’ wanna take over everything now.”
Can’t believe gay people have the nerve to want to be treated just like EVERYBODY ELSE!
THE GAY MAFIA. L O F’N L.
Not everyone can be as creative as Abraham here with simply adding his two cents of “fags.”
Hear that gays? You are the root of all evil!
‘Butt Scouts.’ Such a wordsmith!
Garrett and Mikey over here seem to believe for some odd reason that the Boy Scouts are some government run operation and that the “law” has been changed by “judges.” You’re right, Garrett! What is the world coming to? So many idiots such as yourself!
Poor Fred here must have heard the news through the grapevine, because he’s wrong about scout leaders. The pedophile part though is really why gay scouts are banned though, the folks that run Boy Scouts of America assume gay adult men = pedophiles.
And if you don’t blame him directly it’s those liberal heathens’ fault!
Now, let’s hear from good ole’ Fox News host Todd Starnes…
Ah, yes. That’s all the gays are about! SEX SEX SEX! They can’t do anything withsexualizing it! That’s why the straights never ever come across gay people when they go about their daily business.
Yes! Let the mass exodus of bigots’ shitty demon spawn begin!
Finally, I leave you with ole’ noted nutjob Bryan Fischer. He sees the writing on the walls for the Boy Scouts of America and has written an absolutely beautiful obituary…
Tears in my eyes, Bryan. Tears in my eyes…
…from all the fucking laughter.
BREAKING: Openly gay youth permitted into the Boy Scouts, gay adults still banned
Great NEWS, even if it is only partial victory.
Katie Pavlich = disgusting RWNJ nutcase.
GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) — The Boy Scouts of America’s national leadership will vote Thursday on whether to allow openly gay Scouts in its ranks, a critical and emotionally charged moment for one of the nation’s oldest youth organizations and its millions of members.
About 1,400 voting members of BSA’s national council are to cast ballots Thursday on a resolution to end a policy that allows youth Scouts to be excluded based only on sexual orientation. The ban on gay adult leaders would remain in place.
The vote is taking place at a resort in Grapevine, Texas, not far from BSA’s headquarters, during the national council’s three-day annual meeting. The results are expected to be announced shortly after 5 p.m. CDT Thursday.
Gay-rights supporters and opponents have waged impressive campaigns to win support for their arguments in the months leading up to the vote.
Supporters of allowing gay scouts used a political consulting firm and targeted about 120 local Scouting councils where they thought the most votes could be won. Opponents cited Texas code to obtain the names and addresses of voting members from BSA officials so they could send out mailings, and held rallies across the country last week.
Scouting was established in 1910 and claims 2.6 million youth members, in addition to thousands of leaders and volunteers. Its board of directors includes executives and community leaders, and President Barack Obama is its honorary president.
One estimate suggested a policy change could cause as many as 100,000 to 350,000 Scouts to leave. And it could also affect donors – just more than half of local councils reported to BSA that their donors supported the current ban.
Of the more than 100,000 Scouting units in the U.S., 70 percent are chartered by religious institutions. While these sponsors include liberal churches opposed to any ban on gays, some of the largest sponsors are relatively conservative denominations that have previously supported the broad ban – notably the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Southern Baptist churches.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced in April that it supports the new proposal. Leaders of some smaller, conservative denominations have opposed it.
H/T: Huffington Post
Tracie Felker and Joe Marion share a deep passion for Scouting. Each has a son who attained the top rank of Eagle, and each has spent numerous years and thousands of hours volunteering as Scout leaders, promoting Scout values.
And that’s where they diverge. When the Boy Scouts of America votes next week on whether to admit gay youth as members, Felker and Marion hope for opposite outcomes.
Marion says his issues have to do with logistics. He said admission of gay Scouts would put Troop 413, the pack he started five years ago, at risk of losing its charter. The troop would then have to find a new place to meet if First Baptist Church of Henderson, Tenn., pulls its sponsorship.
Then there are the other considerations, he says, like the ones related to the monthly camping trips his troop organizes.
“The problem is, do I let my kids who are straight share bathrooms and shower houses with kids who are not? How do I divide these kids up for camps? I mean, do I put the gay kids together and then the straight kids together?” he said.
Marion worries about the potential interaction during those sleepaways.
“What happens when a kid comes back from a trip where he was approached, or something did go on – what is the parent going to do? Who are they going to be mad at? Who are they going to lash out at? Me, because I’m the volunteer that took responsibility for their kid,” he said. “You understand why I’m concerned?”
Felker finds those arguments alarmist. A former merit badge coordinator, troop committee chair and two-time den leader, Felker calls the gay ban a form of discrimination that negates everything the Scouts stand for.
The proposal being considered by the national council of the Boy Scouts of America would allow openly gay boys into the program but continue to ban gay adults as leaders. The council’s 1,400-members will vote on the measure May 23 while in Texas for the organization’s national meeting.
Zach Wahls thinks the proposal is a good start but doesn’t go far enough because, among other things, it would exclude parents like his. The 21-year-old Iowa native was raised on Scouting from the time he was 6 by a lesbian couple.
“My mom, Jackie, was a den mother and my mom, Kerry, was an interim Cub Master,” said Wahls, founder of Scouts for Equality, a group with more than 6,500 Eagle Scouts like himself and other Scout alumni advocating for the admission of gay youth and adults.
Among the ten arguments are offensive lies and stereotypes about gay people, as well as arguments that aren’t even substantively relevant:
1. Allowing Gay Scouts But Not Leaders Is Inconsistent
This argument is actually valid, making it one of the weakest presented in the letter, because it supports an inclusive policy for all Scouts and leaders, not a continuation of the ban. The only inconsistency in the membership policy is that it excludes people who are gay (and atheist). On My Honor may even be correct that the inconsistency “will surely draw an equal protection lawsuit,” but that is the fault of the Boy Scouts of America for trying to cling to some form of discrimination.
2. Boy-On-Boy Sexual Contact Will Increase
This argument conflates sexual orientation with sexual behavior, while promulgating the myth that people who are gay are predatory. The implication is that gay teenagers should never even be allowed to go camping because they’re a threat to their straight friends. Such fear-mongering serves only to further demonize the gay community.
3. All Troops Will Have to ‘Facilitate Open Homosexuality’
This isn’t a new argument; it’s merely a complaint derived from a desire to discriminate.
4. So Many Will Leave In Protest That The Scouts Will Collapse
If “tens- and possibly hundreds of thousands of parents and Scouts” leave the BSA, as On My Honor suggests they will, it’s an insult to the very integrity of the program to begin with. Rather than supporting the many values and lessons the Scouts stand for, these individuals will prove their only reason for participation in the Scouts was because the organization is anti-gay.
5. Parents Will Lose Their Right To Shield Their Kids From Learning About Gay People
Like argument #2, this claim relies on the false assumption that being gay automatically makes an individual somehow more “sexual.” Having gay Scouts will not increase the level of discussion about sex anymore than having straight Scouts does. Even a “17-year-old gay activist openly flaunting his sexuality and promoting a leftist political agenda” would honor the Scouts’ commitment to improving society by being helpful, friendly, courteous — and particularly brave.
6. The Scouts Are Caving To Pressure From Society
On My Honor is disappointed that it was just last year that the Scouts decided that banning gay Scouts was “the absolute best policy,” but now “BSA’s top leadership is more concerned about what is popular in the polls taken outside the Scouting family.” When that decision was made, the Scouts refused to explain it, likely because there is no sensible justification for it. Since then, the organization has lost the corporate sponsorship of Intel, UPS, and Merck, so it’s not surprising its leaders became less attached to a policy they couldn’t even defend.
7. Units Who Don’t Comply Will Be Legally Vulnerable
Like argument #1, this concern simply reveals the inconsistency of allowing gay Scouts but not leaders. When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of BSA’s policy in 2000, Chief Justice William Rehnquist argued that the BSA engages in “expressive association.” If that expression is applied inconsistently, it would no longer define — or protect — the organization. This argument is simply a redundant concern that units will no longer be able to get away with discrimination.
8. The Policy Will Allow ‘Transgendered Girls’ In the BSA
First of all, transgender girls would probably be more interested in the Girl Scouts, which they’re actually welcome to join. Contrary to On My Honor’s fears, gender identity has nothing to do with sexuality whatsoever. Transgender boys should be allowed to join the Boy Scouts, but that form of inclusion is not addressed by this policy. The language “sexual preference” in the proposed change is disappointing, but only because it’s inaccurate nomenclature for sexual orientation.
9. Language In The Resolution Is Merely Symbolic
On My Honor seems to think it’s consequential that the “whereas” statements that justify the resolution will not be part of the policy once it’s approved. It apparently has no qualms about putting forth its own symbolic arguments.
10. Many In the Scouting Family Support Discrimination
On My Honor conveniently ignores the most recent survey that specifically addressed the policy on gay Scouts to cite an older survey with less supportive results. Still, trying to argue a “moral” point from a claim of popularity compromises what moral integrity the position even has.
It’s unclear if On My Honor represents anybody other than its founder, John Stemberger. Nevertheless, other anti-gay organizations like the Family Research Council are supporting his efforts. Through this open letter, he has shown not only a lack of understanding but a significant antipathy for the gay community.
h/t: Think Progress LGBT
NEW YORK — Under pressure over its longstanding ban on gays, the Boys Scouts of America is proposing to lift the ban for youth members but continue to exclude gays as adult leaders.
The Scouts announced Friday that it would submit this proposal to the roughly 1,400 voting members of its National Council at a meeting in Texas the week of May 20.
Earlier, the BSA had indicated it might give local Scout units the option of admitting gays as both youth members and adult leaders, or continuing to exclude them
The BSA said Friday it changed course due in part to results of surveys sent out this year to members of the scouting community.
Gay-rights groups have demanded a complete lifting of the ban. Some churches and conservative groups want it maintained.