New York Boy Scouts of America Hires Openly Gay Camp Leader

Always "Be Prepared."

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PHOTO: TED S. WARREN/AP
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Meet Pascal Tessier.

He’s an Eagle Scout — and while that fact is resume fodder alone, it’s not the important part of this story. On his 18th birthday (which was last year), Tessier wrote an open letter to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). While he commends the BSA for teaching him the “morals and values” that shaped the man he had become, he was bidding farewell to the organization because it banned gay adults.

And there’s the rub — here someone who has reached the pinnacle of the organization but can’t enjoy that success because he’s gay.

“Today is my 18th birthday, a milestone on my path to becoming an adult and the day I am no longer eligible to be a Boy Scout because I am gay,” he wrote in August 2014. “Despite the Boy Scouts’ historic decision last year to open its ranks to gay youth, the Scouts still ban gay adults. And as of today, that means me.”

The New York Chapter of BSA thought there was some balderdash there because Tessier had all the merits, all the skills, and all the passion to lead other scouts. So…they hired America’s first gay Eagle Scout as America’s first gay Boy Scouts summer camp leader. 

“This is a watershed moment,” Zach Wahls, executive director of Scouts for Equality, said in a statement. “We are proud to see such an important Boy Scout council standing up for the full inclusion of gay members.”

While the org’s national offices in Irving, Texas recognize his Eagle Scout badge, the hire is currently “under investigation.”

According to the AP story via Yahoo News, some other local Boy Scout councils have let it be known they will accept openly gay employees:

“…the 103-year-old New York councils’ move presents an unusually acute departure from the national policy. Wahls said it was the first case he was aware of that a council publicly acknowledged that one of its adult staffers was gay.”

MEMO to BSA: You guys could use the good PR. Why not investigate your way out of this and let the guy have this job, huh?