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Gay teen who feared being kicked out of Boy Scouts cheers change in policy

Gay teen who feared being kicked out of Boy Scouts cheers change in policy

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.’

Tessier has been out since the 8th grade without any pushback from his local scouting troop.

But his decision to launch a Change.org petition to end the gay ban and to share his story nationally put him in danger of being booted from the organization.

His older brother, Lucien, is also gay but did not come out until after he had achieved Eagle Scout.

‘Like my brother before me, I now have a chance to earn my Eagle award – something that’s taken most of my life to achieve,’ Tessier said. ‘Finally, Scouts are no longer forced to choose between upholding the Scout Oath and being open and honest about who they really are as a person.’

Lucien Tessier, in an interview with GLAAD last month, said he was ‘thrilled’ at the prospect that his brother would be eligible to stay in Scouts expressed his dismay that the end of the gay ban does not extend to adult leaders and volunteers.

‘What I cannot understand is why the Boy Scouts of America believes that I’m not fit to lead my brother’s troop, even though I received the Boy Scouts highest honor just a few years ago,’ he said. ‘If a Scout has what it takes to earn his Eagle award, surely he has what it takes to serve as an adult leader.’