HRC Hails Historic Hire of Gay Scout Leader by Greater New York Councils of Boy Scouts

by HRC Staff

Prominent Lawyer David Boies Representing Scout Leader; Ready to Challenge National Organization If It Blocks Employment

WASHINGTON Today, the Greater New York Councils of the Boy Scouts of America confirmed that it has hired an openly gay man to serve as a Boy Scout summer camp leader, marking the first time in the history of the national organization that one of its local councils has acknowledged hiring an out gay person.

The Boy Scouts of America last year began allowing openly gay youth to participate in the organization as scouts, thanks in large part to grassroots work by Scouts for Equality and its executive director Zach Wahls, and advocacy by supportive scouts, scout leaders, and scouting parents. But it still bars gay adults from serving as scout leaders.

Pascal Tessier, who has been hired by the Greater New York Councils, was one of the first out gay scouts to achieve the organization’s highest rank of Eagle Scout. He is being represented by groundbreaking lawyer David Boies, known for his work advocating for marriage equality, including arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In response to Tessier’s hiring, Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released the following statement:

"There is no basis for anti-LGBT discrimination, especially not at one of America's most storied institutions. This is a historic day for the Boy Scouts of America--and for the courageous and talented young man, Pascal Tessier, who seeks only to work for the organization that he loves. Should he have to fight for the right to do that, he has no greater or more determined legal advocate than David Boies, and together I'm confident that they can ensure that the Boy Scouts is finally fully inclusive of all Americans."

HRC calls on the Boy Scouts of America and BSA President Robert Gates to move expeditiously to end the organization’s outdated policy of excluding LGBT adults from serving as volunteers and employees.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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