Seattle church stands by gay Scoutmaster


by JANET KIM / KING 5 News

Posted on April 6, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Updated Sunday, Apr 6 at 6:26 PM

Boy Scouts of America may have revoked his membership, but openly gay Scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath is continuing his role as a leader with the support of his church.

On any given Sunday, the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church opens its sanctuary for worship.

"All means all," said Rev. Dr. Monica Corsaro of Rainier Beach United Methodist Church. "All we care about is that you want to be in community and that's the way we live it, and to me that's the gospel of Jesus Christ, so that's what we follow."

This Sunday's involved a special presentation from Boy Scout Troop 98 through "Scout Sunday."

Geoffrey McGrath has been leading the group since the fall. Just this week, however, the Boy Scouts of America confirmed it is removing the openly gay leader over discussing his sexuality.

"I have not tended my resignation," said McGrath. "Until I am relieved of my duty properly, I stand in my post."

It's a post supported by Pastor Monica Corsaro who leads the host church for McGrath's charter application.

"It's very disappointing that a policy that is so blatantly discriminatory is being acted out, and so I think it makes us stand more firm and be more clear that Geoffrey is our Scoutmaster and Geoffrey will remain our Scoutmaster," said Corsaro, who also said the Boy Scouts of America have yet to contact her directly.

"In my humble opinion, I don't feel like I've been communicated to by the Boy Scouts of America, Geoffrey also received an email which I was copied on but I have received no direct communication from the Boy Scouts of America."

The Boy Scouts say they are removing McGrath not for being gay, but "deliberately injecting" his sexuality into scouting. McGrath says despite an email and a call he received from the Boy Scouts of America, he led a normal meeting this past Thursday, where two new scouts joined.
He doesn't plan to step down until he is relieved by his charter organization, which in this case is Rainier Beach United Methodist Church.