Boy Scouts | News | Seattle

Boy Scouts Kick Out Church, Revoke Its Charter for Supporting Openly Gay Scout Leader

Geoffrey_mcgrath

In early April we reported on openly gay Seattle scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath, who was the first Scoutmaster ousted from his troop for being gay under new rules created last year. Rainier Beach United Methodist Church, which charters McGrath’s troop, however, stood by him, and continued to allow him to lead the Scouts.

McgrathNow the BSA is responding by kicking out the church and revoking its charter, GLAAD reports:

In a letter dated April 17, Steven P. McGowan of the Boy Scouts of America's General Council notified the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church that its charter would be revoked:

"As you are aware, the policy of the Boy Scouts of America does not allow open or avowed homosexuals to serve as adult volunteer leaders [...] Nevertheless, Rainier Beach United Methodist Church has stated that it will not remove [McGrath] as a leader and will continue to allow him to serve as an adult leader in violation of the charter agreement and the policies of the Boy Scouts of America. As a result of this refusal to comply with the policies, guidelines, rules, and regulations of the Boy Scouts of America, Rainer Beach United Methodist Church is hereby advised that it is no longer an authorized chartered organization and may no longer use the Scouting program or any of its registered marks or brands."

"That the Boy Scouts of America would punish a church and the young people of Troop 98 because the church's core values emphasize fairness and equality for all of God's children is simply unconscionable," said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. "The fact that the Boy Scouts of America chose Easter weekend to once again blatantly discriminate against gay and lesbian people, as well as the churches that support them, flies in the face of the values of Scouting and sends a hurtful message to youth."

"As a Reconciling Congregation, it's important to us that we are open to all people," said Rainier Beach United Methodist Church Pastor Monica Corsaro. "It's a part of our values that the spirit of inclusion is also reflected in the Boy Scout Troop we charter. The congregation stands with Geoff, because his work with this Troop reflects the spirit and the values of Rainier Beach United Methodist Church. In light of the BSA's decision to infringe on our religious liberties, sending us such discriminatory communication on Good Friday, we have acquired legal council to assess our options."

39 Washington lawmakers have signed a letter to the BSA expressing disappointment with their actions.

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Comments

  1. So much for supporting the American value of religious freedom Boy Scouts "of" America. Patriot FAIL.

    Posted by: Sean | Apr 21, 2014 3:03:01 PM


  2. So much for supporting the American value of religious freedom Boy Scouts "of" America. Patriot FAIL.

    Posted by: Sean | Apr 21, 2014 3:03:23 PM


  3. one word: www.scoutingforall.org

    Posted by: David | Apr 21, 2014 3:10:48 PM


  4. When this policy goes, which will be soon, the Boy Scouts of America will remember this as an ugly piece of its history. They should have done the right thing and not enforced the policy.

    Posted by: woody | Apr 21, 2014 3:10:48 PM


  5. When this policy goes, which will be soon, the Boy Scouts of America will remember this as an ugly piece of its history. They should have done the right thing and not enforced the policy.

    Posted by: woody | Apr 21, 2014 3:10:54 PM


  6. one word: scoutingforall.org

    Posted by: David | Apr 21, 2014 3:11:32 PM


  7. one word: scoutingforall.org

    Posted by: David | Apr 21, 2014 3:12:44 PM


  8. one word: scoutingforall.org

    Posted by: David | Apr 21, 2014 3:12:52 PM


  9. What if they are Bi? Or what if they aren't out yet? Talk about institutionalized closet!

    Posted by: Tom | Apr 21, 2014 3:24:47 PM


  10. What if they are Bi? Or what if they aren't out yet? Talk about institutionalized closet!

    Posted by: Tom | Apr 21, 2014 3:25:11 PM


  11. I LOVE the church for using "religious liberty" to justify NOT discriminating.

    Posted by: e.c. | Apr 21, 2014 3:28:06 PM


  12. sorry for being repetitive. indications were that my msg was not posted. apparently it was.

    Posted by: David | Apr 21, 2014 3:33:20 PM


  13. Now this is the sort of thing that Christians who actually follow the teachings of JC should be doing. Good for the chruch - shame on the BSA

    Posted by: rjinva | Apr 21, 2014 3:37:50 PM


  14. Why are people so desperate to belong to a club that so offends their morals? It reminds me of that joke from Annie Hall:

    "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible."

    "Yeah, I know, and such small portions."

    Posted by: JJ | Apr 21, 2014 3:40:53 PM


  15. I think Woody is right that this policy will fall - but not before more Scout leaders are dismissed and shamed; and kids will miss out by having no leaders or second rate leaders.

    This instance is somewhat unique where the sponsoring church is supporting a gay leader. The BSA is taking a chance by dumping that church - others may see it as interference in a religious institution. I can smell the irony.

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Apr 21, 2014 3:42:44 PM


  16. I think Woody is right that this policy will fall - but not before more Scout leaders are dismissed and shamed; and kids will miss out by having no leaders or second rate leaders.

    This instance is somewhat unique where the sponsoring church is supporting a gay leader. The BSA is taking a chance by dumping that church - others may see it as interference in a religious institution. I can smell the irony.

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Apr 21, 2014 3:42:52 PM


  17. I think Woody is right that this policy will fall - but not before more Scout leaders are dismissed and shamed; and kids will miss out by having no leaders or second rate leaders.

    This instance is somewhat unique where the sponsoring church is supporting a gay leader. The BSA is taking a chance by dumping that church - others may see it as interference in a religious institution. I can smell the irony.

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Apr 21, 2014 3:43:07 PM


  18. I think Woody is right that this policy will fall - but not before more Scout leaders are dismissed and shamed; and kids will miss out by having no leaders or second rate leaders.

    This instance is somewhat unique where the sponsoring church is supporting a gay leader. The BSA is taking a chance by dumping that church - others may see it as interference in a religious institution. I can smell the irony.

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Apr 21, 2014 3:43:19 PM


  19. I think Woody is right that this policy will fall - but not before more Scout leaders are dismissed and shamed; and kids will miss out by having no leaders or second rate leaders.

    This instance is somewhat unique where the sponsoring church is supporting a gay leader. The BSA is taking a chance by dumping that church - others may see it as interference in a religious institution. I can smell the irony.

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Apr 21, 2014 3:43:29 PM


  20. I think Woody is right that this policy will fall - but not before more Scout leaders are dismissed and shamed; and kids will miss out by having no leaders or second rate leaders.

    This instance is somewhat unique where the sponsoring church is supporting a gay leader. The BSA is taking a chance by dumping that church - others may see it as interference in a religious institution. I can smell the irony.

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Apr 21, 2014 3:43:42 PM


  21. I think Woody is right that this policy will fall - but not before more Scout leaders are dismissed and shamed; and kids will miss out by having no leaders or second rate leaders.

    This instance is somewhat unique where the sponsoring church is supporting a gay leader. The BSA is taking a chance by dumping that church - others may see it as interference in a religious institution. I can smell the irony.

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Apr 21, 2014 3:43:48 PM


  22. Why are people so desperate to belong to a club that so offends their morals? It reminds me of that joke from Annie Hall:

    "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible."

    "Yeah, I know, and such small portions."

    Posted by: JJ | Apr 21, 2014 3:44:34 PM


  23. Here's a resource for you:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_Scouts_of_America_membership_controversies

    The Scoutingforall.org mentioned in above comments appears to be focused on trying to change BSA policy. It appears to me that ship has already sailed. The Supreme Court has already established their right to be exclusionary, and based on information in the Wikipedia article referenced in this comment, it would seem that efforts to change BSA policy will be as much an exercise in futility as trying to win hearts and minds at Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council.

    I suppose setting up the infrastructure for a new all-inclusive scouting organization would take great effort and expense ( I don't really know ), but it would appear that is what will need to be done if an all-inclusive scouting organization is to be achieved.

    Posted by: Stan D | Apr 21, 2014 4:16:59 PM


  24. "the policy of the Boy Scouts of America does not allow open or avowed homosexuals to serve as adult volunteer leaders."

    So apparently they are perfectly fine with closeted and disavowed homosexuals?

    Posted by: Kevin | Apr 21, 2014 4:32:40 PM


  25. "the policy of the Boy Scouts of America does not allow open or avowed homosexuals to serve as adult volunteer leaders."

    So apparently they are perfectly fine with closeted and disavowed homosexuals?

    Posted by: Kevin | Apr 21, 2014 4:33:12 PM


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