Gay Seattle Boy Scout Leader Removed from Scoutmaster Position
According to reports, The Boy Scouts removed him from his group leader position after he reportedly made an issue about his sexual orientation.
KING-5 TV in Seattle is reporting 49-year-old Geoff McGrath was informed Monday he was being removed from his position as leader of a Rainier Beach troop because he "deliberately injected" his opinions on sexuality into Scouting.
Apparently the dismissal could be linked to a television news profile that was being done on McGrath where he openly discussed his previous activism and views on the subject.
McGrath had applied for chartership for Troop 98, a new group, and it was granted through Ranier Beach Methodist Church in 2013. The troop had been operating for several months this year. McGrath has been an outspoken advocate of gay rights in the past, his brother and nephew had ridden bikes to the Boy Scout Headquarters in Texas during the much-publicized Scouting decision phase last year about gay membership.
Last May, the Scouts voted to allow openly gay youth to join, but drew the line at gay scoutmasters or group leaders. Some interpreted the decision as being a version of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy formerly used by the military when it came to Scoutmasters and troop leaders.
McGrath says that when he applied for the troop charter, Scouting and church officials were well aware of his previous activist involvement and support for gay rights. Supporters of McGrath are asking if Scouting policy refuses gay group and scout leaders, then why was his charter approved in the first place?
According to KING 5-TV, church leaders indicate they will support McGrath on this issue.