BY NATASHA BARSOTTI – In the wake of the Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) reaffirmation of their anti-gay policy and the recent firing of a Missouri Eagle Scout who came out to his camp director, The San Jose Mercury News reports that another gay Eagle Scout has been dismissed from his Northern California summer camp.
And in a show of support for Tim Griffin, 22,who served eight years on the camp's seasonal staff, 10 out of about 30 of his colleagues resigned.
Griffin reportedly told the Mercury News that he believes the reaffirmation of the policy played a role in his termination.
But local BSA officials deny that Griffin's sexual orientation led to his firing, pointing instead to his failure to comply with repeated requests to dress appropriately for camp, the report states. "Specifically at issue were his painted fingernails and earring, although one senior official said there were also complaints about his mannerisms and behavior," the Mercury News reports.
Griffin's supporters on the staff claim the decision to fire him was about his sexual orientation. Griffin is said to be considering what action he can take legally. He told Mercury News that most people around the camp have known for years he's gay, but the issue arose when the leader of a Scout group told him he was "being too gay."
That complaint was followed by others, and the matter came to a head July 20.
The report notes that the camp's program director, a second-in-command, "read an impassioned speech about tolerance" on the night of July 20, then resigned in the morning along with other staff members.
Just recently, straight Eagle Scout Martin Cizmar wrote a letter to the National Council of the BSA, criticizing them for their continuing discrimination against gay scouts and scouters, saying he was returning his badge in protest against their policy.
The New York Daily News is also reporting that other Scouts are turning in their awards. A Minneapolis engineer named Chris Baker is reported to have returned his badge on July 20, after noticing that a fellow scout had done the same.
The Daily News says the BSA could not provide a count of how many people are choosing to return their awards, but the article notes that the blog BoingBoing had logged several posts of now-former Eagle Scouts who indicated they had sent back their awards in protest over the BSA's stance.