Boy Scouts remove church as partner over gay troop leader Geoff McGrath controversy

Boy Scouts of America

Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has removed a church as its charter partner after it decided to keep its gay troop leader.

On April 20, BSA told parents and troop leaders that Rainier Beach United Methodist Church could no longer host Troop 98 because the church is no longer a charter partner. Charter partners provide BSA troops with financial support and a place to host meetings.

Charter partners must also act according to BSA guidelines, which the church failed to do in keeping a gay troop leader as scoutmaster.

"Because the church no longer agrees to the terms of the BSA chartered organization agreement, which includes following BSA policies, it is no longer authorized to offer the Scouting program," BSA spokesman Deron Smith told NBC.

Although BSA voted last year to allow gay scouts, it does not allow gay adult leaders.

The church asked Geoff McGrath, an openly gay and married Eagle Scout member, to lead its Boy Scout chapter less than a year ago.

BSA Scout Executive Sharon Moulds stated that the national BSA did not become aware of McGrath's sexual orientation until she was contacted by a reporter in March.

"It was then that we became aware of his intentions to make a public statement about his orientation and use our program as a means to further a personal agenda," she told NBC News.

At that time, McGrath was removed by BSA from his position as leader of Troop 98, but the church kept him on board as scoutmaster.

Church Pastor Monica Corsaro stated that the church was not consulted before being removed as a charter partner.

"Breaking us up like this seems to go against everything the Boy Scouts is about," she told NBC. "It seems to me that when you are in a dispute with a partner you try to work it out with the partner. It's very clear we're not viewed as an equal partner."

BSA representatives stated that a Seattle-area community center has offered to take over Troop 98, and the organization has no plans to review its policy banning gay adults.

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