Tags: boy scouts | gay | adult | camp | leader

New York Boy Scouts Defy National Group With Gay Adult as Camp Leader

Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 03:40 PM

The Greater New York Council of Boy Scouts has hired an openly gay man as a summer camp leader in defiance of the national scouting organization's ban on gay adults in its ranks, officials said Thursday.

The council said it hired an 18-year-old Eagle Scout but did not release his identity. The advocacy group Scouts for Equality said one of its members, Pascal Tessier, was the person hired.

"We do not want our policy of non-discrimination to be affected by the national policy," the New York Council of the Boy Scouts of America said in a statement.

"New York City and New York State law clearly prohibit employers from excluding qualified men and women from employment based on sexual orientation," it said.

The Irving-Texas based Boy Scouts of America said it is looking into the matter.

"The Boy Scouts policies for adult leaders and employees and have not changed," Deron Smith, director of communication for the Boy Scouts said in a statement.

"While we were only recently made aware of this issue, we are looking into the matter."

The 105-year-old organization lifted its ban on gay youth in 2013 but continues to prohibit the participation of openly gay adults.

"This is a watershed moment," said Zach Wahls, executive director of Scouts for Equality, who said Tessier was the first scout to come out as gay and now it appears to also be the first openly gay leader.

The selection last year of former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates as president of the Boy Scouts was seen as an opportunity to revisit the organization's policy on gay adults.

Gates, who helped end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that barred openly gay individuals from serving in the U.S. military, said he personally would have supported going further toward lifting the ban but would not reopen debate during his two-year term.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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The Greater New York Council of Boy Scouts has hired an openly gay man as a summer camp leader in defiance of the national scouting organization's ban on gay adults in its ranks, officials said Thursday.
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2015-40-02
Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 03:40 PM
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