Boy Scouts | Discrimination | Eric Jones | News | Ryan James Yezak

Boy Scout Camp Counselor Fired After Telling Director He's Gay: VIDEO


Another case of anti-gay discrimination from the Boy Scouts.

E_jonesEric Jones, an Eagle Scout and camp counselor for the Boy Scouts in Missouri, came out to the camp director over the weekend and was summarily fired, the NY Daily News reports:

"He said I was deserving to be there, but he had to follow the policy of BSA," Jones said.

Jones said that while he knew of the Boy Scouts policy, he thought that the director "would overlook it" because he had been working at the camp for nearly five years.

"This is definitely good for me. I'm generally happy," Jones said, describing how he feels a day later.
“But most importantly, I feel discriminated,” he added.

Watch an interview with Jones from FOX4KC, AFTER THE JUMP...

Jones' conversation with the camp director about his sexuality, was filmed by Ryan James Yezak, the director whose documentary-in-progress, Second Class Citizens, made a splash on the web earlier this year, after Jones consulted with Yezak on how he should come out. Jones' story will appear in Yezak's film.

The Boy Scouts recently announced it would review its policy on gays but promised no solutions after a petition campaign from GLAAD inspired by the ousting of Ohio den mother Jennifer Tyrrell, one that Eagle Scout Zach Wahls has also been heavily involved in.

According to a notice from, Tyrrell will deliver 300,000 petition signatures in support of her reinstatement to the Boy Scouts of America’s headquarters in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday.

Video may take a few seconds to load...

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  1. Isn't illegal to get fired because being gay?

    Posted by: Matt26 | Jul 17, 2012 8:11:30 AM

  2. @MATT26 No, not in many, many states, and even in states were it is (like MD, where I live) if you're a private club like the BSA, it's still legal.

    Posted by: Aaron A. | Jul 17, 2012 8:33:40 AM

  3. @MATT26 No, not in many, many states, and even in states were it is (like MD, where I live) if you're a private club like the BSA, it's still legal.

    Posted by: Aaron A. | Jul 17, 2012 8:33:43 AM

  4. Has he ever been accused of inappropriate behavior? Everyone says he's a good guy and scout leader. Yet, here in Boston a little league coach named Jose Ortega was arrested 2 days ago for 'enticing' his minor players. But the real story is he was well known for doing this for at least 10 years, all the players knew he was a perv, yet he was allowed to be a coach for at least 10 years by the organization.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 17, 2012 9:49:29 AM

  5. I'm not sure how this works actually, It is one thing to exclude someone from membership in a private club even in states where there are protections for sexual minorities, but being fired from an actual job, in a state that has a state level ENDA is a completely different matter. If he was in a state that had something like that (I suspect Missouri does not) he would probably have a pretty strong wrongful termination case.

    Posted by: ryan | Jul 17, 2012 10:22:29 AM

  6. The BSA is an odd organization with an odd mission. The original goal was to create little soldiers for spreading Christianity and the UK empire, now it's largely an American organization (does it even operate in the UK anymore?) run by Mormons. It whitewashes its own history while all the time seeming quaint and anachronistic. I should think a rival and more inclusive organization would have been created by now, but without large donors I don't see that happening.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 17, 2012 10:22:55 AM

  7. The Scouts are alive and kicking in the UK. I'm an american eagle scout who has been involved in scouting in the UK since moving here a few years ago, it is a much more inclusive organisation over here in every sense of the word and is largely about providing a sense of moral decency (without an overt religious agenda of any kind) and civic commitment as giving people an opportunity to grow themselves and others.

    Posted by: ryan | Jul 17, 2012 10:28:11 AM

  8. Yes, the Boy Scouts is a world-wide organization. And yes, they exist in the UK.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 17, 2012 10:30:25 AM

  9. I'm tired of these stories. There is no surprise that BSA hates gays, they will kick you out if you are gay or too closely related to gayness. They always do this, they are entirely allowed, get over it!

    There needs to be a campaign to destroy the BSA on their bad history, or somebody needs to start a better international kids scouting agency. Until then, yes fire is hot, ice is cold and the BSA will fire you if your gay.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Jul 17, 2012 10:44:26 AM

  10. The BSA is different from Boy Scouts in Canada. The Boy Scouts actually had a booth set up on Church St in Toronto during Pride which clearly could not happen south of the border. I wonder what justification the BSA uses when they look at Scouting organizations in other countries to justify their continuing prejudices.

    Posted by: Swiminbuff | Jul 17, 2012 10:45:41 AM

  11. Depressing and weird.

    My hunch is that he and the director both knew ahead of time that this interview was going to happen, and recorded it because they disagree with the BSA policy. I certainly have heard talk of camp leaders who have clandestinely defied the BSA when it comes to their attention that a counselor or scout is gay. And it's hard to imagine a bigot consenting to being recorded.

    Posted by: Yeek | Jul 17, 2012 11:02:53 AM

  12. @Aaron A., thanks for the info. Seems unbelievable.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Jul 17, 2012 11:19:55 AM

  13. Get a lawyer and sue them and take it to the Supreme court if need be.

    Posted by: Mike | Jul 17, 2012 11:44:45 AM

  14. I empathize with Eric, I'm likewise an Eagle Scout and former camp counselor. I lost my camp job this year due to my sexuality. I worked on camp staff for nine years and still got the shaft. It breaks my heart, we're loyal Scouts and they still kick us to the curb.

    Posted by: Walter Beck | Jul 17, 2012 12:37:53 PM

  15. Sorry Mike. We lost that in the Supreme Court in 2000. The BSA defines its mission. It's private. End of story.


    Posted by: Bingo | Jul 17, 2012 2:58:46 PM

  16. One thing we can do is prevent the BSA from using government property free of charge. Since they are a private institution, there really is no reason that the BSA should be able to go into schools and use their resources. One reason the BSA opened its new permanent home for the National Jamboree is that military bases will no longer let them set up on their land for free. If our military can accept gay people, while not the BSA?

    Posted by: Bill Callahan | Jul 17, 2012 5:43:33 PM

  17. I always the outrage over these decisions hilarious. The kid knew he was not allowed to be a counselor per BSA rules, and acting ll butthurt because they didn't make an exception is LOL! funny. I do agree that the cuselor was in on it as far as the documentary - this kid is QUITE clearly homosexual.
    In the end, many parents would not be comfortable with a gay 19-year old by being in chage of teen boys, in the same way they would not want a hetero 10-year old boy in charge of teen girls. Quite reasnable and understandabl.
    The BSA wll not change, nor should they. If there is such a groundswell of peple just dying to have homosexual scout leaders, then start your own organization. We will wait.
    And laugh.

    Posted by: YeahItsMe | Jul 19, 2012 5:06:02 PM

  18. I personally knew him and had him as a counsler at camp he was a great scout and a great teacher he may of knew it was against policy but i believe he did it to prove gays can be just as good of boyscouts so it may of been "frowned upon" but he didbt deserve to lose his job

    Posted by: anonymous | Jul 24, 2012 12:11:34 AM

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