The Boy Scouts of America’s New York City affiliate has hired an openly gay man to work at a camp this summer, setting up a potential face-off with the national youth organization over its prohibition on allowing gay people over 18 as employees or members, reports The New York Times. Pascal Tessier, an 18-year-old Eagle Scout from Maryland, has been a prominent critic of the Boy Scouts’ policy, which since 2013 has allowed gay youths as members but barred homosexual adults from participating.
“This young man applied for a job. We judged his application on the merits. He’s highly qualified,” said Richard G. Mason, a board member of the Scouts’ Greater New York Councils, which runs programs for more than 46,000 youths across the city. He said the affiliate forwarded Mr. Tessier’s name along with those of other summer-camp hires to the national Boy Scouts’ office for review last month.
Zach Wahls, head of Scouts for Equality, a group that advocates lifting the ban, said that about 30 scouting affiliates nationwide have publicly opposed the policy but that the New York group is the first to publicly acknowledge hiring a gay adult. A spokesman for the Boy Scouts, Deron Smith, said the national organization had not changed the policy and is “looking into this matter” of the New York hire.