Ousted scoutmaster to Amazon: suspend support of Boy Scouts of America

Ousted scoutmaster to Amazon: suspend support of Boy Scouts of America

Ousted scoutmaster to Amazon: suspend support of Boy Scouts of America

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by Heather Graf / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherGrafK5

KING5.com

Posted on May 20, 2014 at 11:16 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 21 at 9:07 AM

There's a new twist in the story of a Seattle area scoutmaster ousted from his position with the Boy Scouts of America because he's openly gay.  Now, Geoff McGrath and his supporters are petitioning Amazon to suspend its support of the BSA.

The petition through change.org has already been signed by more than 125,000 people.

It was started not by McGrath, but by a seventeen-year-old in Maryland who heard what happened to Geoff.

Pascal Tessier is one of the first openly gay Eagle Scouts in the country.  He has hopes of becoming a scoutmaster, but fears the Boy Scouts of America will do the same thing to him as the organization did to Geoff.  Tessier turns 18 in just a few months.

"I plan on applying to be an adult leader and there's a 99 percent change BSA is going to kick me out," said Tessier.  "When I heard about Geoff being kicked out, it was like, there's more work to do and it's time to start, time to start again."

The petition he started asks Amazon, which has long been known as gay-friendly, to stop any and all charitable donations to the Boy Scouts of America.

"I mean, Amazon is this great company when it comes to gay and lesbian issues," said McGrath.  'What we don't quite understand is why they continue to fund BSA while they have this discriminating policy.  So we're asking them to pause that until BSA can get it straightened out."

McGrath and Tessier say it's about holding BSA accountable, until they stop discriminating against scoutmasters or trooper leaders.

The pair met for the first time Tuesday night in downtown Seattle. 

Wednesday morning, they and others will walk to the front door of Amazon headquarters and deliver the petition.  They're hopeful someone with Amazon leadership will agree to speak to them.

A spokesperson for Amazon told KING 5 that the Boy Scouts of America is one of nearly a million legally recognized charitable organizations its customers can donate to, through AmazonSmile. 

In other words, if customers don't want to support the Boy Scouts of America - there are plenty of other options.

Amazon also says the company relies on lists published by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control to determine if certain organizations are eligible to participate.

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