Boy Scouts Revoke Church Charter Over Support of Gay Scoutmaster

In Depth

The Boy Scouts of America organisation has revoked the charter of a Seattle area church after it refused to remove a scoutmaster for being gay.

The BSA notified Scoutmaster Geoff McGrath that he was removed from his position as Scoutmaster of Troop 98 at Rainier Beach United Methodist Church after making public remarks that he was gay. The church, however, has refused to remove him from his position. Given the non-compliance, the BSA then sent a letter to the church’s attorney informing him that their charter had been revoked. Pastor Monica Cosaro responded to the letter by asserting her congregation’s support of McGrath.

As a Reconciling Congregation, it’s important to us that we are open to all people…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.

Despite the fact that the Boy Scouts of America now allow gay minors to participate in scouting, they still bar adults from participating, whether they are parents of scouts or just adult volunteers. Meanwhile, national support of the scouting organisation is dropping, and there is a considerable disconnect between what is viewed as an exclusionary series of policies in the Boy Scouts of America at the same time as the Girl Scouts USA support inclusion of openly gay leaders and scouts, as well as transgender girls.

Boy Scouts of Certain Religious Groups in America, time to either give up your claim of being a national organisation (with the President as your honorary head! Yep, no confusion of church and state there!) and allow a new inclusive boy-centric scouting organisation to take your place next to the inclusive Girl Scouts USA or change your policies.

Pick one.

GLAAD has made the copies of the revocation letter publicly available:

Image via Shutterstock.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin