It is likely that Geoff McGrath wants to test the Boy Scout rule that openly gay adults are not allowed as voluntary leaders in the Scouts. After all, why would he agree to appear on an NBC News program about being a Scout leader who is also openly gay?
McGrath found out right away that national Scout leadership are determined, at least for now, to enforce the long-standing rule. Almost immediately after NBC called the Scouts for a comment about their gay Scout leader, McGrath received a letter telling him the Scouts no longer needed his services.
The letter from the Office of General Counsel in Irving, Texas, tells McGrath, “…adult leaders must satisfy the leadership qualifications established by the National Council of the BSA. As part of those qualifications, the BSA does not allow open or avowed homosexuals to serve as voluntary leaders.”
The letter says the BSA does not seek out or investigate or even ask about the sexual orientation of its adult volunteers, but if a “volunteer makes an issue of his or her sexual orientation – especially to the youth we serve – then that volunteer is no longer eligible for to be [sic] a registered leader.”
Earlier this year the Boy Scouts struck down their longtime rule against open and avowed homosexual boys being members of the Scouts. The debate took nearly a year and included the cancellation of major funding of the Boy Scouts from large corporations including UPS, Caterpillar, Lockheed Martin, and others.
John Stemberger, a longtime Boy Scout leader who led the fight to maintain the rule for boys and who went on to found a rival Scouting group, told Breitbart News, “It is commendable that the BSA appears to be enforcing its policy when they learn of a violation from the media.” Stemberger went on to issue a warning: “But the real question is whether this removed Scoutmaster will become a plaintiff in a lawsuit to challenge the new membership policy. It is only a matter of time before a court somewhere will order them to allow openly homosexual adults also because they abandoned the constitutional protection they had in BSA v. Dale with the new policy allowing just youth.”
BSA v. Dale was the Supreme Court case that allowed the Boy Scouts to keep their policy of banning open gays as members and leaders. The ruling centered on the private nature of the Boy Scouts, even though the Scouts received some benefits of government including use of government buildings for meetings.
The Boy Scouts sincerely believe they can thread the needle, that they can please the highly organized gay lobby by allowing out and proud gay boys to serve as Scouts, but avoid their wrath while kicking out openly gay older boys and men who want to be volunteer leaders.
However, the response of national gay pressure groups was immediate and harsh. “Banning a caring scoutmaster who has dedicated his time and efforts to helping young men grow into adults of integrity is a moral outrage,” said Jeremy Pittman, deputy field director for the Human Rights Campaign and an Eagle Scout. “Parents and adults of good moral character, regardless of sexual orientation, should be able to volunteer their time to mentor the next generation of Americans.”
Earlier this year, the new, gay president of Disney World let the Boy Scouts know that Disney World would no longer financially support the Boy Scouts or allow any of its 66,000 employees count volunteering for the Boy Scouts toward Disney employee volunteer time. It is likely such corporate pressure will continue until the Boy Scouts allow open and avowed homosexuals, like McGrath, to be volunteer Scout leaders.
Columnist Robert Knight told Breitbart News, “The Boy Scouts got this right, but they will be under even more pressure to reverse the policy. When they surrendered and deliberately put boys at risk by welcoming openly homosexual youths into their ranks, they emboldened militant homosexual activists and their corporate shills. Parents should look instead to sign their boys up for the new Trail Life USA for a Scouting experience without the political correctness.”