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Sacto Scouts: we fired him for looking and acting gay, not for being gay

Timothy Kincaid

August 15th, 2012

The administrators within the Boy Scouts who try and enforce their anti-gay policy must all have been bitten by the SayStupidThings bug. Because repeatedly they open their mouths and out comes nonsense that is just about guaranteed to make them look oppressive and out of touch.

Take, for example, the Golden Empire Counsel in the Sacramento area which operates Camp Winton, southeast of Lake Tahoe.

In July, the national council reaffirmed their “no gays allowed” policy. So 22 year old Tim Griffin, an nine-year employee, asked the program director what they could do about it.

Well, it seems that what they could do about it was to fire Tim. But, perhaps not wanting to look like bigoted troglodytes, they decided that another explanation was better.

The Golden Empire Council, Boy Scouts of America recently found it necessary to dismiss an individual from his position on camp staff due to an issue with performance, violation of expected camp behavior and camp standards.

As this is a personnel matter, I am not a liberty to discuss details but I can tell you that, contrary to other reports, this incident has nothing to do with our membership policy. The camp director has no knowledge of this individual’s sexual orientation. As our policy indicates, the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers or members.

And as for that “expected camp behavior and camp standards”,

Glen Goddard, program director for the Golden Empire Council, told The Sacramento Bee that Griffin was dismissed because he refused to adhere to uniform guidelines.

At issue were the nail polish and earring Griffin wore, although someone also had complained about his mannerisms, Goddard says.

It’s not that he’s one of them there homoSEXshulls, nosirree, it’s cuz he looked and acted like one of them there homoSEXshulls.

I’m sure that they thought that would be the end of it. Well, not exactly. Because that explanation – while it might sound scary on the news (ooooh, fingernail polish! girly! girly! girly!) – it didn’t fly with his fellow scout employees who also were wearing fingernail polish (presumably to object to the ban). In fact, a third of the other employees – including his supervisor – quit in protest. And then went on change.org and started a petition with a somewhat different explanation:

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. The Golden Empire Council claims he was fired because he violated the camp’s dress code. But as his direct supervisor at the Camp Winton, I know this isn’t true. He was fired because of his sexual orientation. The men who fired Tim haven’t even stepped foot on Camp Winton this summer.

And now that about 80,000 people have signed their petition, they caught the attention of the local Fox News affiliate. In an interview with Tim and his supervisor the “no, no, no it was his nail polish” explanation seemed, well, absent of any truth. Instead what appears is that some scoutmasters didn’t like that Tim “presented himself” as too gay and wrote the council to complain. (And I think it’s fair to guess that it wasn’t the Methodists)

But, in response to all the press attention, the Golden Empire Council has decided to double-down on their explanation.

Contrary to media reports, the Golden Empire Council did not remove this camp staff member because of his sexual orientation or the BSA’s membership standards policy

Because why look like a bigoted troglodyte when you can look like a stupid lying bigoted troglodyte that kowtows to one church.

Comments

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Neil
August 15th, 2012 | LINK

The camp director has no knowledge of this individual’s sexual orientation.

That sounds like the plot of a 1970s British sitcom.

Oscar
August 15th, 2012 | LINK

Actually, I’d be happy if this loophole wasn’t closed. I have no problem with a person’s sexual identity or culture. If they have a personality I find annoying, distracting, negative, pushy, combative, or whatever, then that’s potential grounds for being fired, even if they try to make that kind of behavior an entitlement that comes with their sexual orientation, religion, politics, or anything. We all need to try and get along. Conflict is amplified whenever folks feel they have a divine right to wage a campaign against their coworkers or neighbors.

Erp
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

I should point out the Boy Scouts don’t kowtow to only one church. Unfortunately the LDS and I suspect the Catholic group speak with one voice and the others are either divided (United Methodists, Lutherans, and Presbyterians are certainly big enough but have plenty who feel gays and atheists aren’t morally straight) or too small. In the 1970s it was the LDS against everyone else as far as racial policies and the LDS bowed to the change.

Chartering organizations and numbers at
http://www.scouting.org/About/FactSheets/operating_orgs.aspx

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