The Boy Scouts of America has revoked the charter of a Seattle troop over its refusal to remove an openly gay troop leader, according to Scouts for Equality.
Geoffrey McGrath, believed to be the first openly gay troop leader, was banned from the Boy Scouts at the beginning of April.
Rainier Beach United Methodist Church’s Troop 98 and Pack 98 defended their Scoutmaster, however, and refused to force him out.
“Based on our religious principles, we will continue to act as an autonomous church that does not discriminate,” the church’s Rev. Monica Corsaro said in a statement to Scouts for Equality. “We will continue to have our Troop meetings here, every Thursday night, with business as usual.”
McGrath said he was “disappointed” with the BSA’s decision.
“Pastor Corsaro specifically sought out someone with my Scouting background to help get these units off the ground, and her church is now being told to violate their religious convictions. It’s unconscionable and irreverent,” he said in a statement to Scouts for Equality.
BSA Communications Director Deron Smith told Time that the Scouts had no choice but to remove the Seattle troop’s charter since it violated BSA policy.
“We are saddened by this development, but remain committed to providing all youth with the best possible Scouting experience where the Scouting program is the main focus. We are contacting the parents and leaders of the units to inform them of the chartered organization change,” Smith said.
Last year, the Boy Scouts’ National Council voted to allow gay troop members. The ban on gay troop leaders still stands, however.