Boy Scouts Shut Down Seattle Chapter with Openly Gay Scoutmaster

The Boy Scouts of America have revoked the charters of the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church after their openly gay Scoutmaster, Geoffrey McGrath, was ousted in March by the organization but its members refused to remove him.

The church's reverend, Dr. Monica Corsaro, said in a statement to Scouts for Equality,

"Based on our religious principles, we will continue to act as an autonomous church that does not discriminate. We will continue to have our troop meetings here, every Thursday night, with business as usual."

As a result, the BSA took action to remove the charter from the church and its two scouting units, Troop 98 and Pack 98, saying they were "saddened by this development."

The Boy Scouts of America's policies allow openly gay youths but not leaders within its charters, thus its eventual decision to close RBUMC's operations. Outrage among members of Scouts for Equality reveals how antiquated this policy is.

McGrath contributed to SFE's statement with similar surprise at the shutdown:

"I'm stunned and disappointed to hear the news," said Geoffrey McGrath, Scoutmaster of RBUMC's Troop and Pack. "Pastor Corsaro specifically sought out someone with my Scouting background to help get these units off the ground, and her church is now being told to violate their religious convictions. It's unconscionable and irreverent."

[Image via AP]