Scouts for Equality on the hiring of Pascal Tessier by New York Boy Scouts
Today, as Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed News is reporting, the Greater New York Area Councils of the Boy Scouts of America confirmed that it has hired Pascal Tessier, an openly gay adult Eagle Scout and member of Scouts for Equality. The announcement suggests that the Boy Scouts of America is not enforcing its policy of prohibiting adult gay leaders from employment. In light of this, Zach Wahls, Executive Director of Scouts for Equality, issued the following statement:
This is a watershed moment. For the first time in the history of the Boy Scouts, an openly gay adult will join their ranks as a camp counselor. Pascal Tessier was the first out gay scout, and now it appears that he will also be the first out gay leader.
But if the Boy Scouts of America National Council steps in to force the Greater New York Councils to rescind their offer to hire Pascal, it will represent a boldfaced example of employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, which is illegal in New York State.
As the controversy swirling in Indiana, Arkansas, and elsewhere demonstrates, Americans are no longer willing to tolerate discrimination based on sexual orientation. We affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all people, and we expect our leaders–and future leaders–to do the same.
We are proud to see such an important Boy Scout council standing up for the full inclusion of gay members and affirming that the values and principles of scouting are important to all people regardless of sexual orientation or age. We are proud of them for living up to the full promise of Scouting. And we’re proud to be working with Pascal as he stands up for his rights as protected by law.
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