Seattle church loses Boy Scout charter because of gay leader
SEATTLE — The Boy Scouts of America has revoked its charter agreement with a Seattle church that refused to remove a gay troop leader when the organization withdrew his membership.
A Boy Scouts attorney told Rainier Beach United Methodist Church last week that it no longer could host troops under the Boy Scouts name.
The church has stood by Geoff McGrath, 49, a Seattle software engineer and Eagle Scout, since his membership in the organization was revoked last month, setting off an impasse between the church and one of the country's most popular youth organizations.
The Boy Scouts of America told McGrath in a March letter that it had “no choice” but to revoke his registration after he said he was gay while being profiled by NBC News.
Boy Scouts of America officials said McGrath violated the group's leadership qualifications. They said he “deliberately injected his sexuality” into the Scouting program when he made statements to the media and the organization about his sexual orientation.
“As a Reconciling Congregation, it's important to us that we are open to all people,” said the Rev. Monica Corsaro of Rainier Beach United Methodist. The church supports McGrath because his work reflects its spirit and values.
McGrath has led Seattle Troop 98 since its formation last fall. The church also sponsors a Cub Scout Pack for younger boys. About 15 youths participate in the units.
The church has obtained legal counsel to study its options, Corsaro said.
The Boy Scouts began accepting gay youths for the first time this year but has continued to exclude openly gay adults from leadership positions. Gay-rights groups applauded the decision to allow gay youths to participate, but the move angered people who consider homosexuality a sin and a violation of Scouting values.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.