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Boy Scouts of America dismisses gay Scoutmaster

Organization says there was no plan to fire leader until media got involved

Former Scoutmaster Geoff McGrath, who is gay, has had his leadership position revoked by the Boy Scouts of America after he spoke to media about his sexual orientation. Credit: facebook.com

Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has dismissed a gay Scout leader in Seattle after he spoke to media about his sexuality, but the Scoutmaster says he has never hidden that he is gay, BuzzFeed reports.

A spokesperson for Seattle’s Scouting council says she became aware that Geoff McGrath, 49, is gay only after a reporter from NBC contacted her. McGrath, who was leader of Troop 98 in Rainier Beach, has been with his husband for 20 years.

A BSA spokesperson told NBC that the organization refrains from asking people about their sexual orientation, and it does not become an issue until they “deliberately inject it into Scouting in an inappropriate fashion.” The BSA’s national council revoked McGrath’s registration after speaking with him about the matter.

McGrath started the troop at the request of the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church, which performs same-sex marriages. The church, which became the troop’s charter partner, wanted McGrath to lead it, despite being aware that his sexuality would conflict with BSA policy.

Church reverend Monica Corsaro says she “wouldn’t have a Boy Scout troop unless we did it this way,” pointing out that there are several gay couples in the area.

Last year, the BSA voted to lift a ban on gay youth, a move that was welcomed in some quarters but criticized as too limited in scope as it means that gay youth will eventually be told they can no longer serve when they turn 18.