MERIT BADGE

NY Boy Scouts Challenge National Gay Ban By Hiring Out Camp Counselor

Pascal Tessier answers questions from the media after the resolution to allow openly gay scouts passed in GrapevineThe debate over the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay adult employees will likely become a hot button issue again in light of the fact that the Scouts’ New York chapter has now openly and publicly defied the policy.

It was announced Thursday that the chapter has hired 18-year-old Pascal Tessier, the nation’s first openly gay Eagle Scout, as a camp counselor.

Tessier, from MD Troop 52 (one of the nation’s oldest troops), earned the rank of Eagle Scout only weeks after the ban on gay youth was lifted, and his hiring could lead to litigation between the New York chapter and the BSA’s national headquarters, though the hope is to resolve the conflict out of court.

Related: Straight Eagle Scout Fights To Keep His Gay Twin From A Lifelong Scouting Ban

In anticipation of a possible fight, Tessier has been in touch with prominent lawyer David Boies, who has recently argued in favor of same-sex marriage.

“We all started this with the idea that the best resolution of this was a resolution based on conciliation and agreement,” Boies said.

“It is certainly a remarkable development because we now have the first openly gay scout leader employed by the Boy Scouts,” he added. “We hope that is the beginning of the end, if you will, of the policy nationwide.”

The Boy Scouts’ national spokesman, Deron Smith, said “We are looking into the matter.”

Stay tuned.