By Neal Broverman
Originally published on Advocate.com August 15 2012 8:34 PM ET
A gay former Eagle Scout allegedly fired from his job at a Scout-affiliated camp in California delivered 70,000 signatures to the Golden Empire Boy Scouts Council calling for the organization to rescind their antigay policy.
Tim Griffin, 22, claims he was removed as an employee at Camp Winton because he's gay; the Boy Scouts ban out members and troop leaders. In response to the firing, Camp Winton program director Alex Hayes quit in protest. A petition on Change.org, calling for Griffin's reinstatement and an end to the Boy Scouts' discriminatory policy, gathered 70,000 signatures, which Hayes and Griffin delivered to Scout officials on Wednesday in Sacramento. The two men also met with Glen Goddard, program director for the Golden Empire Boy Scouts.
"While today's meeting was productive, the delivery of these petitions marks the beginning of the journey, not the end," Hayes said in a release. "The 70,000 signatures and the attendance here today speaks for itself. By blindly obeying the Boy Scouts of America's discriminatory antigay policy, the Golden Empire Council risks losing some of its most loyal and active members."
Meanwhile, the Boy Scouts of America deny that Griffin was fired because of his sexual orientation. They released the following statement on Tuesday:
"Contrary to media reports, the Golden Empire Council did not remove this camp staff member because of his sexual orientation or the BSA’s membership standards policy. While this employee relations matter was not related to BSA’s membership standards policy, out of courtesy, representatives from the BSA will accept a petition from Timothy Griffin asking BSA to change its policy."
The Boy Scouts also included this addendum to their statement: "BSA believes to disagree does not mean to disrespect and does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members."