New York Boy Scouts hire gay Eagle Scout despite ban

Fri. April 3, 2015 10:15 AM by

New York - The Boy Scouts' New York chapter has hired an openly gay Eagle Scout, ignoring the group's national ban on openly gay adults.

The Boy Scouts' Greater New York Councils announced Thursday that it had hired Pascal Tessier, an 18-year-old Eagle Scout.

Richard G. Mason, a board member, told the AP that they found Tessier to be "highly qualified on all the merits" and that the organization was executing on its anti-discriminatory policy.

"We believe in it very firmly," Mason said.

While the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) ended its ban on openly gay scouts in 2013, anyone over 18 who is gay may not participate in the organization.

Last year, Tessier became the Boy Scout's first openly gay Eagle Scout.

Zach Wahls, executive director of Scouts for Equality, cheered the hire.

"This is a watershed moment," Wahls said in a statement. "We are proud to see such an important Boy Scout council standing up for the full inclusion of gay members."

The Boy Scouts' national spokesman, Deron Smith, would only say that the BSA was "looking into the matter."

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