An openly gay Eagle Scout said he's been axed by the Boy Scouts -- and he believes it's because of his sexual orientation.
Brian Peffly, a 35-year-old volunteer assistant scoutmaster, has been involved with scouting since first grade, and has volunteered on and off as an adult.
But after appearing in local media as an openly gay scout, he reportedly got a call and a letter from Boy Scouts of America revoking his membership. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, a message on Peffly's answering machine said he got the boot because of "issues with your ability to comply with some of our rules and regulations."
The message, and a subsequent letter, did not specifically mention his sexual orientation, but Peffly is convinced his membership was revoked because he is gay.
— Stand With Brian (@StandWithBrianP) May 7, 2015
Peffly is vowing to fight.
"I'm not going to take this lying down. I'm not going to take this quietly," Peffly told the Plain Dealer. "I want the whole country to see the effects of this discrimination."
Openly gay Boy Scout leader in Ohio had membership revoked
— DCHomos (@DCHomos) May 7, 2015
Peffly, who is an intensive care nurse, is a founding member of his local Scouts for Equality chapter. Last year, his local council, the Simon Kenton Council, published a statement of inclusion saying it "does not believe in denying membership in our program to a youth or adult leader on the basis of sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, or economic status."
Boy Scouts of America last year ended its ban on gay youths, but continues to forbid adult leaders who are "open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA."
Peffly says it shouldn't be an issue at all.
“Why does that need to come up if you’re teaching fire-building or first aid or whatever?” he told the Columbus Dispatch.
Some local councils have fought the national organization over its lack of inclusion.
Last month, BSA revoked the charter of a Seattle chapter that refused to remove a gay scout leader.
Also last month, the New York chapter hired an openly gay Eagle Scout to be a summer camp leader.
New York has a law protecting gays and lesbians from employment discrimination, and the New York attorney general's office has opened an investigation into the organization's hiring practices in the state.
As the Plain Dealer points out, however, Ohio has no similar law. And Jeff Moe, the local scout leader, said the council isn't planning to fight the decision to revoke Peffly's membership.
"We recognize that the actions of the National Council do not reflect our recently adopted Statement of Diversity, but as members of our national organization, we are bound by its policies," he told the Plain Dealer.
Peffly's local council may not be supporting him. However, he is getting support on social media, where people are tweeting messages using the #StandWithBrian hashtag. There's also a website, Stand With Brian, dedicated to his cause.
#regrann @scouts4equality - @sk_sfe chapter lead Brian Peffly has been KICKED OUT of the @boyscoutsofamerica. Read more here: http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2015/05/openly_gay_scout_leader_in_ohi.html. #boyscout #boyscouts #LGBT #equality #loveislove #BSA #scouting #scouts #scout #eaglescout #Columbus #Ohio #discrimination
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