Fearless 18-Year-Old Boy Scout Leads Others In Gay Pride March Despite Ban Against It

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 7.26.55 PMThe Boy Scouts of America National Council may have voted to tolerate gay youth after caving to pressure from every sane person on Earth, but a handful of crusty leaders are still trying to stifle young gays serving in the organization. Don’t worry, though. These kids are starting to fight back.

A group of boy scouts and adult volunteers led by 18-year-old Eagle Scout Kenji Mikesell proudly marched in Salt Lake City’s gay pride parade last weekend, ignoring orders from a higher official that told them it was prohibited. The group marched hand-in-hand with Mormons Building Bridges, a local organization that “conveys love and acceptance for LGBT individuals.” In case you hadn’t heard, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is totally cool with gays in the Boy Scouts.

“It just feels like the right thing to do,” Mikesell told NBC News. “Scouting has been a very positive influence in my life, and I’d like to see more people take advantage of it now that the ban has been lifted.”

The brave 18-year-old also says he wasn’t afraid of any consequences. Rick Barnes, chief scout executive of the Great Salt Lake Council and the man who issued the original ban against marching in uniform, expected the troop to comply. Now that Barnes’ rule has been broken, Deron Smith, a spokesman at the national headquarters Boy Scouts of America, says punishment is to be determined by the local council.

“These individuals stated a personal opinion and do not represent Scouting,” said Smith. “Scouting teaches young people that often in life one finds rules they don’t agree with, but a Scout is to be obedient. To simply disobey a rule because you disagree with it is not an example to set for youth. It is up to each council to determine how best to hold their leaders to the standards of Scouting.  We will support the Greater Salt Lake Area Council as they determine the appropriate response.”

No further action has been taken as of yet, but we hope Mikesell’s decision inspires Boy Scouts troops across America to unite and march in celebrations everywhere this June. Isn’t fighting for equality what Gay Pride is all about, anyway?

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  • 2eo

    As usual not a single word against the mormon church. Though it isn’t surprising I do wish it wasn’t such brazen caving in to the Queerty mormon paymasters.

  • Taliaferro

    What is the local council going to do? Will they penalize these brave scouts and further set their cause back? The last I checked, wearing your scout uniform while marching in a Pride parade is not a felony or a misdemeanor and certainly is not a capital crime. The old cretins who want to stop progress are doomed by their very age – death will silence them all.

  • hf2hvit

    THe old farts will cornhole them and then slap them for liking it.

  • Will L

    Bravo for him!

  • kelehe

    “To simply disobey a rule because you disagree with it is not an example to set for youth”

    But to disobey a rule because it’s the right thing to do is courageous.

  • Billysees

    @kelehe: No. 5

    ” But to disobey a rule because it’s the right thing to do is courageous. ”

    Great comment.

    No.4 Will L

    ” Bravo for him! ” is another good one.

  • dugout

    Sometimes the leaders reveal how closely they watch the rank and file. They have their goals and desired outcomes, and they have a place reserved to completely paper over the truth at a later date, to pretend nothing ever happened. So these young guys are taking huge risks striking matches around pyros like the American Church Complex.
    I am struck by the straights in the mix, allied and taking part in getting the brush fires put out. No one knows what happens next. Even the big shots involved in Pride, the kind of people who left Harvey Milk out in the cold over and over until he was assassinated.
    I never thought Church people would see the pattern and admit openly a clearer understanding of their own role in things….These scouts are getting it done, so the gay families can clutter up my game at pride with baby strollers and closed convos “over the babies heads”. They inspire me. Now we have something at Pride that looks a little more like real life.

  • Polaro

    It is progress. One slogging step at a time.

  • alterego1980

    A dog should be obedient. A scout should probably stand up for what is right. I’m sure scouting helped give him the ability and confidence to make this decision. How ironic.

  • Matt1961

    @Taliaferro: The “scout” is 18, an adult, and will be listed as ‘undesirable’ and have his membership revoked. That’s standard practice. The other adults if in uniform will also have their membership revoked. The Mormon church does not consider being gay a sin, only the ‘act’, similar to the policy of the Catholic church.

    the Mormon Church comprises 25% of the BSA membership or there abouts, so they do get heard when they speak.

    Attending the national meeting, being a voting member, I can tell you that the Mormon church pushed for the change in membership requirements. It was the evangelicals that tried to derail this vote…

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