News (USA)

Gay Scoutmaster refuses to step down, church stands by his decision

Geoffrey McGrath
Geoffrey McGrath AP

SEATTLE — The Boy Scouts of America may have revoked his membership, but openly gay Scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath is continuing his role as a leader with the support of his church.

BSA’s Chief Seattle Council severed ties with McGrath last week, but he says he has no intention of stepping down until instructed to do so by his charter organization, which in this case is Rainier Beach United Methodist Church, reports KING-TV.

“I have not tended my resignation,” said McGrath, 49, a former Eagle Scout and co-founder of Boy Scout Troop 98. “Until I am relieved of my duty properly, I stand in my post.”

It’s a position supported by Pastor Monica Corsaro, who leads the host church for McGrath’s charter application: “Geoffrey is our Scoutmaster and Geoffrey will remain our Scoutmaster,” says Corsaro.

KING-TV reports:

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.

McGrath said he didn’t hide his sexual orientation from Scouting leaders, but Seattle’s top BSA official said she never knew he was gay.

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