By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com April 30 2014 3:28 PM ET
A longtime Boy Scout who was outed as gay on Facebook has been denied a summer job with the organization because of it.
Garrett Bryant, 19, had always been in the closet as a scout, but last month, when he changed his Facebook relationship status to “In a Relationship,” some friends outside of scouting posted comments asking, “What’s his name?” Some of the comments were posted while he was sleeping, but he quickly deleted them the next morning, NBC News reports. However, Facebook friends who were involved with the Boy Scouts had already seen them.
Bryant, an Arizona college student, had hoped to be hired again at Camp Geronimo, about 90 miles northeast of Phoenix, where he had worked last summer. A week after the Facebook posting went up, though, he was told no job would be offered to him, citing the posts as evidence of homosexuality. The Boy Scouts of America this year began allowing openly gay youth members, but it still prohibits openly gay adults from serving as volunteers or employees.
“They made an issue of my sexuality,” Bryant told NBC. “I was perfectly content with staying in the closet with the Scouts.”
The BSA issued a statement saying Bryant did “did not meet requirements for employment.” An official with the organization, Larry Abbott, declined to discuss Bryant’s particular circumstances, but said, “We want to be a safe haven for kids and that’s where we’re at. And we don’t want sex of any type in camp, either heterosexual or homosexual or anything.”
Some observers questioned how merely acknowledging the existence of a same-sex romantic partner could bring sex into a Boy Scout camp. Heterosexual scouts don’t have to worry that anyone will find out they have a girlfriend, said Brad Hankins of Scouts for Equality, a group pushing for full acceptance of gay people in scouting.
Watch Bryant’s interview with NBC below.