Sara Ramirez
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New York Chapter Defies Boy Scouts of America's Ban on Openly Gay Adult Members

Pascal Tessier

Photo via GLAAD

OUT100 Honoree Pascal Tessier was one of the first openly gay scouts to earn the prestigious Eagle Scout ranking. “It’s just really amazing, and it honestly hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Tessier told the Washington Post last year. “We didn’t know if it was going to happen at all.”

Tessier was a prominent voice against the ban on openly gay people in the Boy Scouts of America — which resulted in a change that still didn't allow gay adults in the organization. “It was a bittersweet victory,” Tessier told Out in 2013 after the historic vote to allow gay teenagers, but not adult leaders, to serve in the movement. “I want them to feel that happiness.”

Now the organization's New York affiliate, the Boy Scouts’ Greater New York Councils, which runs programs for more than 46,000 scouts, is challenging the national organization's ban by hiring Tessier to work in a scout camp this summer. 

“We’ve had an antidiscrimination policy for a very, very long time,” Richard G. Mason, a board member of the Greater New York Councils, told the New York Times. “This young man applied for a job. We judged his application on the merits. He’s highly qualified. We said yes to him irrespective of his sexual orientation.”

As of now, Mason says Tessier will be working for them in the summertime. The Boy Scouts’ national spokesman, Deron Smith, said they are looking into the matter.

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