By David Artavia
Originally published on Advocate.com May 07 2013 6:34 PM ET
Since the Boy Scouts Of America announced its proposal to no longer deny membership for gay youths, but still keep the ban on gay adult leaders, many have decried the BSA's hypocrisy. However, none have been as loud as Dave McGrath of Idaho.
McGrath, 48, and his son Joseph, 21, will be cycling on an 1,800 mile journey from Idaho Falls to Irving, Tex. — the headquarters of BSA. The bike ride is McGrath's form of protest against the banning of gay adult leaders in the Boy Scouts. Representatives of BSA are meeting at their headquarters at the end of May to decide on the proposal, upon which time the McGraths will be arriving.
The older McGrath has two gays sons who he is riding for. He also has an identical twin brother, Geoff, who is an eagle scout and also happens to be gay. McGrath himself has served as a scoutmaster for twenty years. Joseph, a former Army Specialist who served in Kuwait, is also riding not just for his two gay brothers but for his friends in the army that have been affected by "don't ask, don't tell."
Though there are many supporters for the McGraths, there are just as many on the opposite end.
Texas Governor Rick Perry attended Family Research Council's "Stand With Scouts Sunday" this past weekend. The event was ostensibly intended to urge Americans to preserve the Boys Scouts as its founders envisioned it. Perry made it clear where he stands: “Scouting has for over a century now been the real bedrock of values and traditions and developer of men... Their values and principles have worked for a century now, and for pop culture to come in and try to tear that up because it just happens to be the flavor of the month, so to speak, and to tear apart one of the great organizations that has served millions of young men, helped them to become men and to become great fathers – that is just not appropriate. Frankly... I hope the American people will stand up and say, ‘Not on my watch.’”
Boy Scouts for Equality founder Zac Wahls is a champion of the McGrath's advocacy: “[We] applaud the efforts of Dave and Joe McGrath. These men represent the values that Scouting taught each of us and our organization is proud to work with them to support equality in the Boy Scouts.”
Each day of the trip will be a "century ride" (100 miles or more) and six of the daily elevation gains will be greater than the “golden standard” of mountaineering elevation gain in the continental U.S. In total the entire elevation gain will be the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest. Twice.
"My promise is to be silent no more." McGrath has stated. Read more about the McGraths here.