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.
‘I definitely think that the reaffirmation of the anti-gay policy played a role in my termination,’ he told the Sacramento Bee.
The BSA announced last week (17 July) that it has no plans to lift its ban on gay members after what it says was two years of consideration by an 11-person committee.
Griffin has plenty of supporters at the camp. After his firing, 10 of his fellow staff members walked off the job in protest two weeks before the current session was to end.
Local BSA officials insist that Griffin’s sexuality was not the reason for his firing. They said he repeatedly dressed inappropriately with painted fingernails and earring. One senior official also claimed there were complaints about Griffin’s mannerisms and behavior.
After the week’s campers left Saturday morning, 10 of about 30 camp staff members resigned to show support for Griffin. The summer camp closes in two weeks.
Griffin was officially by the Golden Empire Council, which serves 20,000 Scouts from Redding to Sacramento.
Glen Goddard, program director for the council, said: ‘What it came down to was his failure to comply with management regarding a uniform issue. We gave him plenty of warnings.’
But Graham Littlejohn, a fellow Eagle Scout, claims the uniform issue is an excuse.
‘It was absolutely about his sexual orientation, no question about it,’ said Littlejohn who was among those who resigned in protest.