Updated 07:04 PM EST, Wed, Dec 08, 2021

Boys Scouts Ban Openly Gay Troop Leader in Washington

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The Boy Scouts of America removed and banned an openly gay troop leader on Monday, citing their policy that prevents adults from "deliberately injecting" their sexuality into the organization.

Geoff McGrath was the Scoutmaster of the Troop 98 in Seattle, Wash. and may be the first leader removed from his position since the organization voted to admit openly gay troop members, but not leaders, last May.

Although McGrath, 49, admits that he was aware of the ban on gay leaders, he says that had hoped the Scouts' recent decision to welcome gay youth would help make the organization more inclusive.

"It's extremely disappointing to not be fully supported and defended in my membership," McGrath told NBC News. "They are complaining that the problem [his status as an openly gay man] is a distraction to Scouting and they don't seem to understand that the distraction is self-inflicted."

After Troop 98 was approved and formed last fall, McGrath says he was approached by clergy from Rainier Beach United Methodist Church about starting a new youth program for neighborhood boys. His application was then approved by Seattle's Boy Scouts Council despite the fact that he's been married to his husband for 20 years. A spokesman later said that the organization was not aware of his sexual orientation.

"Our policy is that we do not ask people about their sexual orientation, and it's not an issue until they deliberately inject it into Scouting in an inappropriate fashion," said BSA spokesman Deron Smith, according to the New York Daily News.

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