NBC News reported Geoff McGrath, 49, founded a gay-friendly troop in the Emerald City’s Rainier Beach neighborhood. Seattle’s top Boy Scouts of America official told the network she did not know McGrath was gay in spite of his claims that he never hid his sexual orientation.
“It’s extremely disappointing to not be fully supported and defended in my membership,” McGrath, who is married to his husband of 20 years, told NBC News. “They are complaining that the problem [his status as an openly gay man] is a distraction to Scouting and they don’t seem to understand that the distraction is self-inflicted.”
Deron Smith, a spokesperson for the Boy Scouts of America, defended the decision to ban McGrath from the organization.
“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,” Smith told NBC News in an e-mail. “We spoke with Mr. McGrath today and based on the information he provided, the National Council has revoked his registration.”
The Boy Scouts of America National Council last May voted to partially end its long-standing policy banning openly gay boy scouts. The prohibition of openly gay adult volunteers and scoutmasters remains in place.