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Boy Scouts march in Utah Gay Pride Parade

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  • Boy Scouts march in Utah Gay Pride Parade

    Scouts lead off » A group of uniformed Boy Scouts carrying the flags of their nation and their state would be a non-event at almost any parade, but not at Pride. And that’s before adding Geoffrey McGrath, a former scoutmaster in Seattle dismissed by the Boy Scouts of America three months ago for being gay.

    McGrath led about 10 former and current Scout leaders and Scouts at the beginning of the Pride Parade on Sunday, carrying an American flag, an Israeli flag and rainbow flags, along with protest signs against the Boy Scout of America. Among the group was Peter Brownstein who made the same walk with Scouts in 2013, only to get reprimanded by the Great Salt Lake Council and threatened with being removed if he made a repeat appearance. The Scouting council won’t have to follow through with its threat since the United Jewish Federation in October suspended the troop Brownstein led.

    The Boy Scouts don’t allow its uniformed members to participate in political events and the Great Salt Lake Council considers the Pride Parade political. Brownstein argues that it is cultural.

    Brownstein said he felt it is important to participate in the Pride Parade, even after losing his troop, because he wants to keep the pressure on the Boy Scouts to change.

    "I believe the issue needs to stay at the forefront of the discussion as they remake themselves into a more inclusive organization," Brownstein said.

    The Scouts have allowed gay youths to join its organization this year but still have a policy against gay scout leaders.

    McGrath, an Eagle Scout and a software engineer, founded a troop last fall sponsored by the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church, which promotes LGBT equality. His sexuality was mentioned in a NBC News story that prompted the Boy Scouts to remove him from his post in a letter dated March 31.

  • #2
    Sounds as if this is another one of the media corruptions of fact. These are former scouts, since their membership is no longer valid. Of course, it is definitely another political ploy.

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    • #3
      Why an Israeli flag I wonder?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Peregrinator View Post
        Why an Israeli flag I wonder?
        Yeah, I couldn't figure that out either....

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        • #5
          That got my attention as well... perhaps more than most forum members. It sure isn't clear. Also unclear is the role and position of the "United Jewish Federation", which may just be an interesting coincidence. As for the whole thing, let's see here: "A Scout is obedient. A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobeying them." It all sounds pretty "orderly" to me. At least, there is nothing in that article that suggests otherwise.

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          • #6
            If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobeying them
            So if there is a rule against taking part in political activity (e.g., a "Gay Pride" parade) while in uniform, one ought to obey that rule and work for its change rather than disobeying it. Right?

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            • #7
              So McGrath's claim that he only wanted to be a Scoutmaster and wasn't trying to make a political statement is out the window, huh?

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              • #8
                Scouts often lead flag ceremonies at political events and rallies (and then leave). Is carrying the lead flags of a parade considered a flag ceremony?

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                • #9
                  Good question but in this case they ARE former scouts who are, I suppose, no longer bound by any BSA rules since BSA has dismissed them. I guess they figure that since they own the uniforms and have the ability to poke this stick in the BSA eye, they may be able to 'get away with it' with minimal risk of further action from BSA. Really, what can BSA do about it? I can't think of anything offhand. Seems like the only 'leverage' BSA might have had went out the window when they were ejected from membership.

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                  • #10
                    I have seen him on Google+ Boy Scouts of America forum chatting to a Life Scout about his Eagle Project. His G+ Account has him in uniform. He is using his non-position as a position. I get what he is doing. I do not agree with the policy the BSA has, and he has a right to freedom of speech. But, he is going about it the wrong way.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by packsaddle View Post
                      Good question but in this case they ARE former scouts
                      I believe the article cited in the OP said "former and current," so it would appear that at least some of them are current.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Twocubdad View Post
                        So McGrath's claim that he only wanted to be a Scoutmaster and wasn't trying to make a political statement is out the window, huh?
                        McGrath's claims about his motives have been lies from day 1. He's gay, he knows the rules. He did a cross-country bike ride to protest the policy last year and started a website to threaten BSA officials while documenting the ride. He led the parade last year knowing he couldn't, he was reprimanded. He founded a troop knowing he couldn't with a church that also wanted to purposefully break the rules, called the news, and got kicked out on purpose.

                        McGrath is vicious trash with no aim in mind except to set BSA on fire.

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                        • #13
                          I have never been to a gay pride parade so I don't know if they are any more political than a 4th of July parade or a Irish Heritage parade on St Patrick's day. At most parades it is jist people walking, riding, marching etc. I could see if it ends in a rally with people speaking that could cross the line of political.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sidney Porter View Post
                            I have never been to a gay pride parade so I don't know if they are any more political than a 4th of July parade or a Irish Heritage parade on St Patrick's day. At most parades it is jist people walking, riding, marching etc. I could see if it ends in a rally with people speaking that could cross the line of political.
                            If you have people in your group carrying protest signs against the BSA, as the article states, it is a political march from the git-go.

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                            • #15
                              Now AZ, maybe they are just trying to be "helpful".

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