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More than 60,000 Urge California Boy Scouts Council to Reinstate Gay Employee and Reject Boy Scouts’ Anti-Gay Policy

More than 60,000 people have joined a popular campaign on Change.org urging California’s Golden Empire Council to reinstate 22-year-old Eagle Scout Tim Griffin as an employee at Camp Winton, and to reject the Boy Scouts of America’s policy barring gay Scouts and leaders. Griffin, who was the longest-serving employee at Camp Winton, says that he was fired from the Boy Scouts camp because of his sexual orientation.
Alex Hayes, who was second in command as Camp Winton’s Program Director, launched the campaign on Change.org after resigning in protest with nine other camp employees following Griffin’s removal.
“For the past eight summers, Tim was loved not only by his fellow camp staffers, but all of the Boy Scouts who participated in programs he ran at the camp,” said Hayes, who launched the petition on Change.org. “More than 60,000 people have joined me, and the nine other employees who resigned, in taking a stand for Tim. We want the Golden Empire Council to know that the Boy Scouts of America’s discriminatory policy has no place in our Scouting community.”
After Griffin’s employment was terminated, the Golden Empire Council released a statement saying Griffin’s firing was “due to an issue with performance, violation of expected camp behavior and camp standards.” Hayes disagrees.
“The Golden Empire Council claims he was fired because he violated the camp’s dress code, but as his direct supervisor at Camp Winton, I know this isn’t true. He was fired because of his sexual orientation,” added Hayes. “If the Golden Empire Council truly stands by its statement, and Tim wasn’t fired because he’s gay, then the council should have no problem rejecting the Boy Scouts of America’s discriminatory ban on gay Scouts and leaders.”
Each new signature on Alex Hayes’ petition is sent via email to Scouts Executive James Martin, Program Director Glen Goddard, and several other Golden Empire Council officials. Tim Griffin, Alex Hayes, and other former Camp Winton staffers plan to deliver petition signatures in-person at Golden Empire Council’s office in Sacramento on Wednesday, August 15 at 10 a.m. PST.
President Obama, who serves as honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America, publicly opposed the Boy Scouts of America’s anti-gay policy on Wednesday, and joined presidential candidate Mitt Romney in supporting gay Americans participating in the Boy Scouts.
“The President believes the Boy Scouts is a valuable organization that has helped educate and build character in American boys for more than a century,” said White House spokesperson Shin Inouye . “He also opposes discrimination in all forms, and as such opposes this policy that discriminates on basis of sexual orientation.”
Last weekend, the Mitt Romney for President campaign, responding to a 1994 video recently surfaced by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), confirmed that Romney still believes gay Americans should be allowed to participate in the Boy Scouts. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said that Romney’s 1994 comments, where he said that the Boy Scouts should welcome members who are gay, “remains Romney’s position today.”

August 13, 2012

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