Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Boy Scouts Strike Again

Garrett Bryant has been a member of the Boy Scout since he was a boy; he spent his summers at Boy Scout Camps and decided he would apply for a job as a camp counselor this summer at the BSA’s Camp Geronimo to help with his college tuition.

But all that changed because of an innocuous Facebook post.

Garrett is openly gay, and knew he needed to keep that secret if he wanted to stay in the BSA as an Eagle Scout and camp counselor — you can be a gay scout, but you cannot be a gay scout leader — but earlier this year he posted what he calls a “gender neutral relationship status change” on his Facebook page.

It was then that he realized his secret — a secret he kept only from the BSA, as his friends and family knew he was gay — was out. It wasn't his status, though, it was the comments from supportive friends, who posted things like  “Awesome man, who is he?” and “Oh, good for you, man, what’s his name?”

In a state of fear, Garrett deleted any post that referenced his orientation and hoped that anyone associated with the BSA hadn’t seen his friend's comments, but not long after, the trouble started.

Garrett called a friend to see about his application to work at Camp Geronimo — where he had worked the previous summer — and rather than being told he’d been accepted, he was told he needed to speak with the camp’s director.

He made that call and the director told him he wouldn’t be offered a job this summer; he was said to be ineligible because of his “personal choices.” When Garrett asked what that meant, the camp director said “the homosexuality” — seriously, the homosexuality — and then he mentioned the Facebook posts.

Now, after more than a decade with a group that is supposed to build leadership, Garrett Bryant is told he cannot be a leader because he’s gay. It's as simple as that except …

Since he was outed, Garrett's friends and family, and even some members of the Scouts have been supportive; one friend even offered to resign from scouting himself. And his mother and some friends are helping him establish an Arizona chapter of Scouts For Equality, a national organization that advocates for gay Scouts and works to end the BSA’s ban on openly gay scout leaders.

Sadly, though naturally, as homophobes are apt do, the BSA isn’t responding, saying only that Garrett Bryant’s situation is a private employment matter and that the organization would not offer a comment.

Bigots always hide behind silence.


mistress maddie said...

Yeah,there building leadership alright in a positive way. So usual.

the dogs' mother said...

Best job offers are flowing in right now. Good luck, Garrett.

viktor kerney said...

This is why I never joined

Frank said...

BSA obviously needs a good lawsuit to teach them about the values they purport to believe in.

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