LGBT

Gay Troop Leader Kicked Out Of Boy Scouts, Believes He’s First Removed Since New Policy Began

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 participate.

1. 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.

2. NBC News had been working on a story about Troop 98 when this statement was released from the BSA yesterday:

3. The BSA claimed McGrath “deliberately injected” his sexuality into the organization by speaking to NBC.

Staff / Reuters

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. “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.”

8. 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.

9. Watch his full interview with Seattle’s KING5:

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Sarah Karlan is the associate LGBT editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact this reporter at sarah.karlan@buzzfeed.com
          
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