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June 24, 2014

Gay scouts past and present and their allies to participate in oldest LGBTI pride event in the US

Openly gay members of the Boys Scouts of America will make history on Sunday (29 June) when they participate in the 44th Annual New York City Pride March.

Until last January, a member of the scouts could be booted from the organization for being gay. Openly gay adults are still banned from being leaders.

Active and former Boy Scouts and leaders will present the American flag during the opening ceremony then serve as Color Guard during the march of more than 14,000 people down Fifth Avenue.

April 9, 2014

Geoff McGrath vows to continue to serve his local troop in Seattle

The Boy Scouts of America does not think Geoff McGrath is fit to continuing serving as a scoutmaster in Seattle because he is gay.

His troop and its charter organization disagree and are standing by McGrath after he had his registration revoked this week by the BSA.

Even though the BSA ended its ban on gay scouts at the start of the year, the ban remains in place for gay and lesbian adult leaders like McGrath.

McGrath has vowed to continue to lead the troop.

April 1, 2014

After a gay troop leader took his Boy Scouts to a Pride parade, he was accused of 'injecting homosexuality into scouting'

A gay scout leader is speaking out afer getting fired from the Boy Scouts of America because he ‘deliberately injected’ his homosexuality into a scout troop.

Geoff McGrath, an Eagle Scout leader who is thought to be the first openly gay scout leader in America, started a new troop through a local church in Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood.

But the 49-year-old was removed from his position because they believed he had breached the national scout policy against gay leaders in the organisation.

October 31, 2013

Robert Gates led the dismantling of Don't Ask, Don't Tell while US Secretary of Defense

Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has been chosen as the next leader of the Boy Scouts of America.

Gates assumes the role in May 2014, five months after the scouts change in policy regarding gay members goes into effect.

The BSA voted earlier this year to change its century-old policy of banning openly gay members up until they reach the age of 18. But the ban remains for adults scout leaders, employees and volunteers.

Gates has experience in such situations.

May 24, 2013

Pascal Tessier: 'For gay Scouts like me, this vote is life-changing'

Close to completing the rigorous requirements to become an Eagle Scout, 16-year-old Pascal Tessier cheered the decision by the Boy Scouts of America on Thursday (23 May) to repeal its ban on gay members.

'Just a few hours ago, I was thinking that today could be my last day as a Boy Scout,' the teen from Kensington, Maryland said in a statement after the vote. 'Obviously, for gay Scouts like me, this vote is life-changing.'

May 22, 2013

James Dale: 'A boy can go from celebrated Eagle Scout to immoral persona non grata overnight when he turns 18'

When James Dale was 19, he came out as a gay man in a newspaper article not knowing it would mean the end of his days as part of the Boy Scouts of America.

'The Boy Scouts saw that and they expelled me, severed my 12 year association with (the organization,' Dale said in interview released Wednesday (23 May) by GLAAD.

Dale is speaking out a day before the BSA's national board is due to vote on a proposed policy change that would no longer ban gay members but would still prevent gay adults from participating in any way.

April 19, 2013

Gay kids will be able to become Boy Scouts in the US but gay adults won’t be able to help out. Proposal still has to be ratified by 1,400-strong National Council

The Boy Scouts of America is set to ask members to lift the long-standing ban on gay members.

The organization’s board will still have to vote on the plan in May, however. And it is only lifting the ban on gay youth members, not adult leaders.

The recommendation will be put to the 1,400 members at the National Council meeting in Texas starting in the week of 20 May. It comes after years of protest and three months of research, surveys and discussions.

March 4, 2013

National Geographic show debuts tonight as debate over gays and scouts rages on

The reality series Are You Tougher than a Boy Scout premieres in the US tonight (4 March) amid demands that the cable network air a disclaimer distancing itself with the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policies.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation joined gay Eagle Scout Will Oliver to deliver more than 120,000 Change.org petition signatures to National Geographic Channel headquarters in Washington DC.

March 2, 2013

Grammy winning band was scheduled to play at Boy Scouts 2013 National Scout Jamboree

The Grammy winning band Train has given the Boy Scouts of America an ultimatum: drop your ban on gays or we won't perform at your annual national event.

The band, which has shown support for the LGBT community in the past. was scheduled to perform at Boy Scouts 2013 National Scout Jamboree as the closing night act.

'When we booked this show for the Boy Scouts of America we were not aware of any policy barring openly gay people from participation within the organization,' the band said in a statement.

February 5, 2013

They are urging BSA board to overturn ban in gays this week

The national board of the Boy Scouts of America is meeting this week to decide whether or not to approve a policy change that would allow openly gay people to participate in scouting.

To mark the occasion, a group of activists converged upon BSA headquarters in Dallas, Texas, Monday (4 February) to deliver petitions with 1.4 million signatures to encourage them to end the gay ban.

January 28, 2013

National organization would let local affiliates decide whether to admit gay scouts

Under increasing pressure, the Boy Scouts of America is considering ending its controversial ban on gay members and leaders only seven months after reiterating its anti-gay stance.

NBC News reported Monday (28 January) that the national leadership of the scouts is in the final stages of policy change that, if approved by its national board, would allow openly gay people to participate in scouting.

January 24, 2013

Wants disclaimer aired before episodes of  show Are You Tougher than a Boy Scout?

National Geographic Channel's new series Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout? is the focus of an online petition and the ire of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation because of the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policies.

The reality show has adult civilians from all walks of life going head-to-head with Boy Scouts as they compete in challenges based on the Scouts' 100-year-old handbook in a bid for merit badges.

January 19, 2013

'I've chosen this moment to open up to every other member of the Boy Scouts of America who is in the same position I'm in'

Derek Nance is a gay man who has just quit a job that he clearly loved - and he did so on YouTube.

Nance had worked for 10 years at a Boy Scouts of America Summer Camp, a job he held while earning Bachelors and Masters degrees in college. But he did so as a closeted gay man.

This week, he decided to quit hiding.

January 19, 2013

'I've chosen this moment to open up to every other member of the Boy Scouts of America who is in the same position I'm in'

Derek Nance is a gay man who has just quit a job that he clearly loved - and he did so on YouTube.

Nance had worked for 10 years at a Boy Scouts of America Summer Camp, a job he held while earning Bachelors and Masters degrees in college. But he did so as a closeted gay man.

This week, he decided to quit hiding.

January 10, 2013

Ryan Andresen had support of California chapter in challenging gay ban

Ryan Andresen, a gay teen from the San Francisco area, is not going to be an Eagle Scout.

An effort by a California chapter of the Boy Scouts Scouts of America to challenge its national organization's ban on gays by recommending that the 18 year old be awarded the rank of Eagle Scout has failed.

January 8, 2013

Ryan Andresen is challenging Boys Scouts of America ban on gays

A California chapter of the Boy Scouts Scouts of America is challenging its national organization's ban on gay by recommending that a gay teen be awarded the rank of Eagle Scout.

Ryan Andresen, 18, was kicked out of his San Francisco-area troop after coming out last year. He had completed the requirements for Eagle status but his troop leader denied his application.

October 12, 2012

A former Boy Scout has offered his Eagle medal as a sign of support to a teenager who was denied his own because he is gay.

A former US Boy Scout has offered his Eagle medal as a sign of support to a teenager who was denied his own because he is gay.

Dr Andrew Zerbinopolous has given his top honors medal to Ryan Andresen after the Boy Scouts of America refused to give him the award simply because he came out.

Dentist Zerbinopolous, who received his Eagle Scout badge in 1996, reportedly kept it on his desk at his practice in Jacksonville, Florida.

October 9, 2012

California high school senior, Ryan Andresen, refused Eagle Scout award because he was gay

A gay teenager who was refused top honors by an American boy scouts group after coming out will tell his story on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

The lesbian US comedian will meet Ryan Andresen on Thursday (11 October) to talk about how the 18-year-old from Moraga, California, was denied the Eagle Scout award after he opened up to friends and family about his sexuality.

September 22, 2012

Eagle Scout Zach Wahls began protest after learning company gave nearly $700,000 to Scouts in 2010

Zach Wahls, the young man whose passionate defense of his two mothers in front of Iowa legislators went viral two years ago, is an Eagle Scout who is using his internet fame to fight the anti-gay policies of the Boy Scouts of America.

September 19, 2012

Greg Bourke: 'It would be a very brave thing to do, a scout is supposed to be brave'

Last month, Assistant Scoutmaster Greg Bourke revealed to a Boy Scout Council in Kentucky that he is gay.

He was promptly forced to resign after five years of service because the Lincoln Heritage Council and Boy Scouts of America determined that he 'did not meet its membership requirements.'

Now Bourke is fighting to be reinstated and tells the television station WHAS: 'It would be a very brave thing to do, A scout is supposed to be brave. So I would challenge them to do that.'

July 25, 2012

10 camp employees walk off the job in support of Tim Griffin

Tim Griffin, a 22-year-old Eagle Scout, had worked at the Boy Scouts of America-run Camp Winton in Northern California's Amador County for eight summers.

Then last week, he was fired.

Griffin, who is gay, says he has little doubt why.

July 21, 2012

Martin Cizmar: 'There is no fair reason they should not be allowed to participate in scouting'

Describing his gesture as 'kind of sad, but important,' a former Eagle Scout has returned his badge to the Boy Scouts of America because of its policy that bans gays.

Martin Cizmar, who is straight, posted a letter to BSA leaders on his Facebook page which stated in part: 'Though I didn't know at the time, I was acquainted with a number of gay scouts and scouters. They were all great men, loyal to the scout oath and motto and helpful to the movement. There is no fair reason they should not be allowed to participate in scouting.'

July 18, 2012

Jennifer Tyrrell: 'This movement doesn’t stop because 11 anonymous men behind closed doors made a decision to keep discrimination in place'

Ousted lesbian den leader Jennifer Tyrrell showed up as Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Dallas, Texas, Wednesday (18 July) to deliver more than 300,000 petition signatures calling for an end to the organization's anti-gay policy.

Her delivery comes a day after the BSA announced that after two years  of consideration by an 11-person committee, the Scouts will continue to ban gay members.

July 18, 2012

'This is of course the same justification used to prevent minorities from eating in restaurants during the Jim Crow years'

Former Eagle Scout George Takei, best known as Sulu from the original Star Trek TV series, spoke out Wednesday (18 July) against the Boy Scouts of America's announcement this week that they will continue to ban openly gay people.

Takei, who rode in last month's New York City LGBT Pride Parade wearing his Scout uniform, called the anti-gay position an 'ugly blemish' on an organization he 'revered' as a teenager.