Boy Scouts Boot Troop With Gay Leader

Church says it will stand by scoutmaster

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 22, 2014 3:08 AM CDT

(Newser) – A church-sponsored Boy Scout troop in Washington state has had its charter revoked for refusing to fire its gay scoutmaster. The decision bars the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church from using the Scout name or logo as long as Eagle Scout Geoff McGrath, 49, remains in charge, the New York Times reports. Boy Scouts of America—which voted last year to allow gay scouts but not gay leaders—says it is "saddened by this development," but the church is no longer allowed to offer the scouting program because it is not following BSA policies.

BSA lawyers say the church's 15 scouts will have the opportunity to transfer to another troop. The church's Rev. Monica Corsaro says the organization never consulted the church about the move. "Breaking us up like this seems to go against everything the Boy Scouts is about," she tells NBC. "It seems to me that when you are in a dispute with a partner you try to work it out with the partner. It’s very clear we’re not viewed as an equal partner." She says the church plans to stand by McGrath, who is married to his partner of 20 years, and the youth program will continue under a different name. "We’re going to stand firm," she says. "Geoffrey attends our church, and this is a way to support our youth in the neighborhood."

Geoff McGrath displays a vintage Boy Scout Handbook given him as a gift by one of the boys in the Seattle troop he led in Bellevue, Wash.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Geoff McGrath displays a vintage Boy Scout Handbook given him as a gift by one of the boys in the Seattle troop he led in Bellevue, Wash.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
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