• Seattle Boy Scout Council: Seattle may be ready for gay scoutmaster, nation isn't

    By: John Knicely


    SEATTLE - On Monday a gay scoutmaster and supporters protested being kicked out of Boy Scouts of America.  They gathered outside the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Seattle where the Chief Seattle Council for BSA met.  They were kicked out of the hotel, but KIRO 7 went into the council meeting to get answers.

    The protesters are demanding to be let back into the Boy Scouts of America after being ousted for not getting rid of gay scoutmaster, Geoff McGrath.  The national policy allows gay scouts, but not gay leaders.
    McGrath was in his scouting gear as he held signs outside the hotel asking for equality.
    Cameras and protesters were kicked out of the Sheraton where the Chief Seattle Council met.  KIRO 7s John Knicely went into that meeting and talked to council members.  They said this is a national issue with national rules they have no control over.  KIRO 7 pressed them as to whether they will take a stand for Troop 98.  They said Seattle may be ready for a gay scoutmaster, but the rest of the country apparently isn't.
    “Well, we are in Seattle,” said McGrath.  “They are in Seattle. This is a deeply local issue.”
    Supporters said it's not a matter of if gay scout leaders are allowed, but when.
    “Yes, the Boy Scouts are a top-down organization,” said Paul Binneboese, a member of Rainier Beach United Methodist Church, which hosts the troop.  “But change can happen from within.  Why not here, why not now?”
    The topic could very likely come up in the annual National Boy Scout meeting which starts May 21.  In the meantime the troop will continue meet, just not under the Boy Scouts name.

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