Openly gay Scout leader fired

Geoff McGrath was fired as Scoutmaster for being openly gay. (x)

Geoff McGrath was fired as Scoutmaster for being openly gay. (x)

Geoff McGrath was fired by the Boy Scouts of America on Monday due to his sexual orientation. McGrath, who is openly gay, was Scoutmaster of Seattle’s Troop 98. The organization cites a policy that prevents adults from “deliberately injecting” their sexuality into the BSA.

Last fall saw the formation of Troop 98, after McGrath was approached about starting a new neighborhood youth program. Seattle’s Boy Scouts Council accepted McGrath’s application and claim to have had no knowledge he was gay, even though McGrath has been married to his husband for 20 years. “Our policy is that we do not ask people about their sexual orientation, and it’s not an issue until they deliberately inject it into Scouting in an inappropriate fashion,” BSA spokesman Deron Smith told the New York Daily News in an email. “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,” said Seattle Council leader Sharon Moulds. Parents were told McGrath was gay from the start and had no problem enrolling their children in the troop. “It’s extremely disappointing to not be fully supported and defended in my membership,” McGrath told NBC News. “They are complaining that the problem [his status as an openly gay man] is a distraction to Scouting and they don’t seem to understand that the distraction is self-inflicted.”

McGrath became an Eagle Scout and was reportedly offered an assistant Scoutmaster position at the age of 22. However, this offer was rescinded after he came out to his troop leaders. Rainier Beach United Methodist Church, who initially sponsored McGrath, has vowed to support him.

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