Target: Ray Quartararo, President, Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America
Goal: Praise Boy Scouts for hiring an openly gay camp leader in direct defiance of anti-gay policies.
An openly gay adult has been hired as a summer camp counselor by a New York chapter of Boy Scouts of America, in direct defiance of the group’s anti-gay policies. Pascal Tessier, now 18 years old, first began protesting the Boy Scouts’ policies at 13 when he was barred from joining because of his sexual orientation. His protests were successful, and he became the organization’s first openly gay eagle scout, paving the way for other gay youth to be accepted.
When Tessier turned 18, he faced yet another obstacle. While the Boy Scouts had amended their youth policies, openly gay adults were still not allowed to join as mentors. Though the Boy Scouts of America publicly claimed that it “does not inquire” about sexual orientation, there have been cases of homosexual men being fired from leadership positions due to their sexualities.
Pascal again took to protesting the organization’s homophobic tendencies. In an open letter to Boy Scouts President Robert Gates, he wrote about his disappointment that his 18th birthday was a day of sadness, because he was again to be excluded from a group he was passionate about. Despite the fact that the national organization made no effort to change its policy, the New York chapter of the Boy Scouts stepped up to include him, even if it meant breaking the rules.
Rather than basing a judgement on his sexuality, the chapter leaders hired Tessier based on his qualifications and dedication to scouting. Now, as a mentor, he will be able to impart his passion and perseverance on younger generations. Sign the petition below to applaud the New York Boy Scouts for making a fair and level-headed decision in defiance of discriminatory policies.
Dear Mr. Ray Quartararo,
The New York chapter of the Boy Scouts recently hired an openly gay adult as a camp counselor despite national chapter rules against homosexual adult membership. Pascal Tessier, who was the organization’s first openly gay Eagle Scout, was hired based on his aptitude and passion for scouting, without consideration for his sexual orientation.
This act of defiance not only meant the world to Tessier, but set a new precedent for tolerance and inclusion within the Boy Scouts. We, the undersigned, praise you for sending the message that the Boy Scouts’ intolerance toward homosexuals is unacceptable and backward.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Guillaume Paumier via Flickr Creative Commons