The New York chapter of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has rebelled against national leadership by hiring openly gay eagle scout Pascal Tessier as a summer camp counselor. This is in direct contradiction to national BSA rules which do not permit BSA chapters to hire openly gay scout leaders.
Pascal Tessier has a history of pushing the frontier in the boy scouts in favor of allowing openly gay participation. He was the first openly gay boy scout to achieve the lauded Eagle Scout status. Then, upon turning 18 last year, he became automatically ineligible to remain in the scouts since he was openly gay and openly adults are not allowed to be leaders. In response, Tessier penned an open letter denouncing the policy and calling for change.
Tessier will be a counselor at the Boy Scout's Ten Mile River Summer Camp in upstate New York. Some BSA leaders say his hiring was in accordance with New York State and City laws prohibiting hiring discrimination based on sexual orientation. Report indicate that celebrity lawyer David Boies is already representing Tessier. Boies has been quoted saying that the BSA's national policy is "obviously against the law in a number of states, including New York."
The fact that it is not against the law in all states is a travesty. But this development is a step in the right direction. Reports have not indicated any response from the National BSA.