US: Seattle mayor supports scout leader who was banned for being gay

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The Mayor of Seattle has defended a scout leader who was fired for being gay and has refused to leave his post.

Geoff McGrath became the first victim of the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on openly gay scout leaders last week, and had his leadership of his Seattle scout troop revoked.

However, McGrath said on Sunday that despite being banned from the BSA, he had no intention to leave his post as scout master, and gained the support of his charter organisation, the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church.

According to King5, Mayor Ed Murray and several council members have now defended him, pleading with the BSA to reconsider their decision.

A letter, co-signed by the mayor, to the BSA’s Chief Seattle Council urges them to “respect and defend Rainier Beach UMC and its desire to retain Geoff McGrath as Scoutmaster”.

It continues: “We believe that Scouting’s core message teaches admirable values and respect for others. The BSA’s decision undermines its credibility in claiming those values. It also does tremendous damage to the ability of the Chief Seattle Council to carry out the mission of Scouting in our region.”

King5 also reports that Rainier Beach United Methodist Church have hired an attorney to defend them, though they still hope to win back McGrath’s BSA membership through dialogue.