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Pro-LGBT church: Boy Scouts violating our religious freedom by ousting gay Scoutmaster

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
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SEATTLE — The pastor of an LGBT-welcoming church says the Boy Scouts of America is infringing on her church’s religious freedom in its efforts to oust their openly gay Scoutmaster.

Geoffrey McGrathAP

Geoffrey McGrath

Geoffrey McGrath is an openly gay scout leader whose membership in the Boy Scouts was revoked last week because of the organization’s ban on openly gay adults.

But McGrath has refused to step down, saying he will continue in his role as Scoutmaster until instructed to do so by his charter organization, which in this case is Rainier Beach United Methodist Church.

It’s a position supported by Pastor Monica Corsaro, who leads the host church for McGrath’s troop.

Corsaro and McGrath have now hired an attorney, and say they believe BSA is infringing on their religious freedom, since the organization expects churches to choose their scoutmasters, reports KING-TV.

Their attorney, Peter Mullenix, hopes dialogue may help them avoid litigation in their efforts to win back McGrath’s membership.

“We are still exploring our legal options, and we hope no litigation is necessary. We want to work with the Boy Scouts toward a resolution that works for the kids of the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church. With that said, it may be time for the courts to revisit the question of whether a congressionally chartered, non-sectarian corporation is allowed to violate the states’ discrimination statutes,” Mullenix wrote in a statement to KING-TV.

More in this report:

BSA spokesman Deron Smith said last week that it wasn’t until an inquiry from the press that the organisation became aware of McGrath’s sexual orientation.

“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,” said Smith.

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