Last May, the Boy Scout’s National Council voted to allow gay teens to be members as of Jan. 1, 2014 but the new rule does not allow adult members who are open or avowed lgbt to participate in the organization. This means that a boy can spend countless hours investing time and energy in an organization that will reject him when he becomes 18 years of age.
The title of Eagle Scout is held for life, thus giving rise to the phrase “Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle” … but a question begs to be answered “can one ‘Always be an Eagle’ if they are rejected by the very organization that grants them the title?”
Here’s a story by MIRANDA LEITSINGER that was published on NBCNEWS.COM about a young man who first joined the Boy Scout’s organization as a third-grader and worked hard to earn the coveted Eagle award only to be told that as a 19 year old college freshman he doesn’t qualify to work at a Boy Scout camp this summer because he is gay.
Garrett Bryant said he did everything he could to keep his sexual orientation from the Boy Scouts, the organization he first joined as a third-grade Bear Cub, rising through the ranks to earn the coveted Eagle award.
Under Scouting policy, gay youth are welcome, but gay adults are not. As a 19-year-old college freshman, Bryant knew that his chance to work again at a Boy Scout camp this summer — and hold any other future leadership position — depended on how well he hid his status as a gay man from his friends and colleagues in Scouting.
But with one Facebook post, Bryant was out — out as a gay adult in Scouting and, according to three sources in local Scouting, out of that summer job.
He thought the post was vague enough: In a moment of exuberance last month over meeting his first boyfriend, Bryant changed his Facebook status to “in a relationship,” adding no comment or details. But the status change prompted revealing, congratulatory comments from non-Scouting friends who knew his sexual orientation, such as “Oh, good for you, man, what’s his name?’”
Bryant panicked and said he deleted the comments that had been posted overnight while he slept. But he feared the damage had been done. He was Facebook friends with people in Scouting, and none of them knew he was gay.
The Scouting sources say Bryant was in line to be hired for the second summer in a row at the BSA’s Camp Geronimo, about 90 miles northeast of Phoenix. But one week after the Facebook post, Bryant said he was told by a camp leader that he wouldn’t be extended a job offer this year because of the social media posts suggesting he engaged in “homosexuality.”
ATTENTION: Are you a gay youth in Scouting? Have you come out to your troop since the change in membership policy on Jan. 1? If you want to share your story or have a general comment about the article? Email the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org