Boy Scouts move to allow gay leaders


In the face of potential lawsuits and public pressure, the Boy Scouts of America is moving toward allowing gay leaders, the organization announced this week. The national group’s executive committee unanimously adopted a resolution “that will allow chartered organizations to select adult leaders without regard to sexual orientation, continuing Scouting’s longstanding policy of chartered organizations selecting their leaders,” it said on its website. The National Executive Board will meet to ratify this resolution July 27. 

The news was especially welcomed by Geoffrey McGrath of Seattle, an Eagle Scout and Scoutmaster who, along with his troop, was forced out of the Boy Scouts of America last year because he is gay.

But McGrath did have reservations, because the national policy will still allow churches that sponsor troops to exclude gay leaders.

“Even with these changes, many scout troops will continue to discriminate, and kids and families are on their own in trying to figure out if they will be supported and defended in the membership and participation,” he said in an email. “This is unfortunate, and will continue to put some kids at risk of harm.”

McGrath now leads his former Troop 98 as the 98th Rainier Scout Group under the Baden-Powell Service Association.

Michael Quirk, council executive of the Chief Seattle Council, said in an email that the council has urged the BSA to allow individual chartered organizations to approve their own scouting leaders.

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