Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation
Missouri

Eagle Scout camp counselor told ‘pack your bags’ after revealing he is gay

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — A 19-year-old Eagle Scout has been terminated from his summer employment as a summer camp counselor at a Missouri-based Boy Scouts summer camp after revealing that he is gay.

Eric Jones, who had been a member of the Boy Scouts of America since he was in elementary school, earning his way to the rank of Eagle Scout two years ago at the age of 17, was told to pack his bags and immediately leave Camp Geiger after he informed the camp’s director that he is gay.

Eric Jones

Jones, whose encounter with the director was filmed as part of Ryan James Yezak’s new documentary, “Second Class Citizens,” told a local television station that, although he was aware of the Boy Scouts’ long-standing policy against gay scouts and scout leaders, he’d hoped the director “would overlook” his orientation, given that he’d been working at the camp for nearly five years.

“I was asked to leave,” Jones said. “I was told to leave. Pack your things and go.”

Jones said the decision to come out was “definitely good for me.”

“I’m generally happy,” he said. “But most importantly, I feel discriminated. I’d been working on coming out. I thought it was time to have my life of scouting and my other life come together,” he said.

On Tuesday, the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed its anti-gay policy, and said that a confidential two-year review conducted by an 11-member special committee and formed “discreetly” by top Scout leaders in 2010, concluded that the policy prohibiting gay scouts was “absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts.”

“With the country moving toward inclusion, the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have instead sent a message to young people that only some of them are valued,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

“These adults could have taught the next generation of leaders the value of respect, yet they’ve chosen to teach division and intolerance,” said Griffin.

Herndon Graddick, President of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), echoed Griffin’s statement:

“Until this ban is lifted, the Scouts are putting parents in a situation where they have to explain to their children why some scouts and hard-working scout leaders are being turned away simply because of who they are,” he said.

“It’s unfair policies like this that contribute to a climate of bullying in our schools and communities. Since when is that a value worth teaching young adults?”

Jones said that part of living up to the Scout oath he took many years ago meant he needed to be open about who he is.

Share this article with your friends and followers:

Archives: , , ,

Filed under: Missouri

39 more reader comments:

  1. WTF?! this is OUTRAGEOUS man!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 7:58pm
  2. this isnt anything knew! the BSA have had a long standing rule concerning the lgbtq community! Sad, my heart goes out to him, I know how it feels to be apart of it then be asked to leave!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 7:59pm
  3. But its ok to have den mothers mingle with these young boys? When will people understand that being gay does NOT mean you’re a sexual predator? Deluded fucktards!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:00pm
  4. How sad :(

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:00pm
  5. Shows what BSA is truly teaching, how to lie, cheat, deceive and be hateful of others… just to fit in

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:01pm
  6. suck mental giants run the scouts…….sad very sad

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:01pm
  7. I could have sworn they said they weren’t going to do this sh*t (on the national news) ever again!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:01pm
  8. Courageous lad! Indeed, Scouting taught him something about bravery and authenticity in spite of themselves!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:02pm
  9. …he didnt go for that merit badge in bigotry & prejudice…see what happens when you follow a code of ethics and value things like honesty…equality…character…those things just arnt American…

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:03pm
  10. G*d forbid that the BSA does not want to lose their alliance with the American Heritage Girls hence one of the many reasons why they upheld their anti-gay policies.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:04pm
  11. Thia happened to my boyfriend who was also an eagle scout.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:04pm
  12. This*

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:04pm
  13. that’s horsehit

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:07pm
  14. damn shame it really is, never get penny from me just remember this when they are trying to sell their pop corn

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:10pm
  15. This is bull!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:10pm
  16. Young Mr. Eric Jones, you placed Eagle Scout that is high achievement! Their’s more to you life. Other than Scouting. You Can do anything! Anything! You are a Strong young man. Your first step coming out was the best thing you did for yourself!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:11pm
  17. Wtf

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:12pm
  18. That’s despicable. He’s probably a wonderful counselor & role model & they dismiss him all because of something that’s no one’s damn business but his anyway!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:14pm
  19. that is ludacris!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:16pm
  20. This is absolutely insane. They dismiss a fine your man because of an orientation that he can do nothing about. Scouting is supposedly worried about abuse . . . Well, believe you me there’s just as much or more abuse by straight people.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:25pm
  21. that is so sad how do these people sleep at night?

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:25pm
  22. awful to the 100th power!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:30pm
  23. there are enough people between us and our supporters to start a North American group just like the scouts open to EVERYONE.It doesnt matter if the counselors are gay,straight,bi,trans,etc. and the children can be themselves.If a little boy wants to learn to cook and sew than no problem thats the group he joins.If a little girl feels more comfortable camping and learning how to start a camp fire then so be it.Why do people have to fit in a box,cant we support EVERYONE for who they are.Its so sad.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:35pm
  24. Shut down the boy scouts…bigots…start another organization open to all…why do they have to be the only game in town….

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:44pm
  25. Proud of that man!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 8:45pm
  26. and my best friend (honorary) Eagle Scout just rolled over in his grave. Such BullShit. This makes me rethink ever allowing my kids to be a part of BSA, despite all of the stories my Dad and Chris would tell of the fun they had and the things they learned. Really said and disheartening.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 9:16pm
  27. No one should support an organization that would do this.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 9:29pm
  28. Congratulations on being an eagle scout. And congratulations on being a bigger and stronger (character) than the national leadership in the BSA. You will be rewarded in life for your character!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 9:44pm
  29. That is why Scouting for All was created… I am sorry that the boy scouts have not progress like the Girl Scouts have… I was once a boy scout too… and I got out before it became and Issue, because I knew the day was coming… congratulations on earning the BS highest level and then on giving back as a counselor… there are many who will appreciate your contributions whether the biggots at the Boy Scouts of America Administration do or not… this is largely why I stopped giving to United Way or anything that gave a percentage of monies to the the BSA.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 9:50pm
  30. Boy Scout Law: A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent. The Oath is: On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country. To help other people at all times, to obey the Scout Law, and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 9:57pm
  31. Anyone see the conflict here?

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 9:57pm
  32. @Dan Mauri, sorry but what’s your point?

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 10:49pm
  33. So stupid, he was an upstanding scout until he told the truth and all of a sudden he isn’t wanted anymore. Bigots

    Posted on Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 6:43am
  34. Your moral compass should always be based on the truth. That’s not to say there won’t be consequences. The truth will endure, and give you stregnth. In time everything else is forgotten.

    Posted on Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 7:33am
  35. i would telll him to fuck off

    Posted on Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 8:44am
  36. Congratulations, Eric, on becoming an Eagle Scout and on coming out! You have learned great skills that will serve you well in your life. I left Girl Scouts after two of my friends were asked to give up their position as Girl Scout leaders because they were lesbians. The GSA is becoming more accepting. It’s a tragedy that the Boy Scouts are not.

    Posted on Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 8:46am
  37. Disgusting. My son will never be a Boy Scout.

    Posted on Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 10:39am
  38. This makes me incredibly sad — promotion of tolerance is such a key to be a successful citizen…and well, this just leaves me speechless. I do believe I have lost quite a bit of respect for this institution.

    Posted on Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 10:54am
  39. Bastards

    Posted on Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 3:56pm