Boys Scouts affiliate in New York hires openly gay camp leader

By Amy R. Connolly  |  April 4, 2015 at 1:47 PM
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NEW YORK, April 4 (UPI) -- Acting in direct defiance of the Boy Scouts of America's ban on openly gay adult members or employees, the organization's Greater New York Councils hired an openly gay summer camp leader.

The affiliate, located in New York City, hired Eagle Scout Pascal Tessier, 18, to work as a camp leader this summer. Tessier, who is gay and a longtime scout, has been a prominent figure among those speaking out against the Boy Scouts' ban on gay people over age 18 in scouting.

Tessier's name, along with others hired to work in scout summer camps, was forwarded to the national headquarters for review, said Richard G. Mason, a board member of the Greater New York Councils, an umbrella group for local Boy Scouts. To date, there have been no word of objections, he said.

"This young man applied for a job. We judged his application on the merits. He's highly qualified. We said yes to him irrespective of his sexual orientation," Mason told The New York Times.

In 2013, the national organization revised one part of its policy on gays, lifting its ban on inducting gay boys as scouts. The group did not address the question of whether to permit openly gay adults to serve as leaders.

Boy Scouts' national spokesman, Deron Smith, issued a statement saying the national policy had not changed. As for hiring Tessier in New York, Smith said, "We are looking into this matter."

Last year, Tessier penned a letter to the Boy Scouts of America when he turned 18 saying goodbye because the organization bans gay adults, which included him. He had been a scout since he was old enough to join.

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