02:33 | 26th April 2019

News: World

Mon 14 Apr, 2014
By Robert Ingham

We believe Scouting is a wonderfully successful tradition, but this act of discrimination is deeply disturbing

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Dismissed Gay Boy Scout Leader Gains City Support

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The mayor and Seattle City Council have expressed their support for a Boy Scout troop leader who was dismissed last month because he is gay.

The Boys Scouts of America revoked the membership of Geoff McGrath about two weeks ago, after officials learned about his sexual orientation when his troop was profiled by NBC News.

The scouting organisation said McGrath, 49, a software engineer and Eagle Scout, violated its leadership qualifications and deliberately included his sexuality in the scouting program.

In a letter on Wednesday, Mayor Ed Murray and City Council members urged the scouting organisation's regional body in Seattle to respect and defend Rainier Beach United Methodist Church in its desire to retain McGrath as the scoutmaster of the troop it chartered.

"We believe Scouting is a wonderfully successful tradition, but this act of discrimination is deeply disturbing," they wrote to the Chief Seattle Council, adding that the BSA's decision about McGrath undermines its credibility in teaching admirable values.

The letter was sent to the scouting council's president, Rob McKenna, a former state attorney general. A message left with McKenna was not immediately returned Thursday. The group on Wednesday referred calls to national headquarters.

Sharon Moulds, with the Chief Seattle Council, told NBC News she found out McGrath was gay only after the news outlet contacted her.

"It was then that we became aware of his intentions to make a public statement about his orientation and use our program as a means to further a personal agenda," she told NBC News in an email last month.

McGrath, meanwhile, continues to lead troop meetings, and the church stands by him, said the Rev. Monica Corsaro with Rainier Beach United Methodist Church.

Source: Oregan Live
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