Geoff McGrath
BSA Severs Ties With Church Over Gay Scoutmaster

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com April 21 2014 1:39 PM ET

The Boy Scouts of America has dropped its affiliation with a Seattle-area church because it has refused to dismiss the troop's openly gay scoutmaster.

Geoff McGrath was told his scoutmaster registration would be revoked because he was openly gay (which the parents of the scouts were made aware of before their children joined Troop 98). The Rainier Beach United Methodist Church, which hosted the troop, refused to force him to leave.

BSA general counsel Steven P. McGowan notified the church Thursday that its charter would be revoked because allowing McGrath to remain a scoutmaster defied the organization's policy barring openly gay scout masters.

"As a result of this refusal to comply with the policies, guidelines, rules, and regulations of the Boy Scouts of America, Rainier Beach United Methodist Church is hereby advised that it is no longer an authorized chartered organization and may no longer use the Scouting program or any of its registered marks or brands," McGowan told the church in a letter obtained by GLAAD.

Thirty-nine Washington state legislators have signed a letter standing by McGrath and the church, calling the Boy Scouts' actions against McGrath on the basis of his sexual orientation "unacceptable."