Petition asks local Scouts to reject anti-gay policy

08/16/2012 12:00 AM

08/15/2012 11:07 PM

Eagle Scout Tim Griffin on Wednesday turned in more than 75,000 signatures asking a local Boy Scout council to reject the national organization's anti-gay policy.

Griffin, who said he's a third generation Eagle, was fired from his job as a camp staff member in July after adult leaders visiting the camp complained about his behavior and mannerisms.

Local Scout officials maintain that Griffin was fired for insubordination and violating the camp uniform policy, not because he is gay. Ten other members of the 30-person staff quit in solidarity with Griffin.

Golden Empire Council officials did not speak to the media Wednesday, but did meet privately with Griffin, who has worked at Camp Winton for nine summers.

Days before Griffin was fired, Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed its ban on gays, concluding a confidential two-year review of the policy by an 11-member special committee.

The ban ostensibly works much like the "don't ask, don't tell" policy of the U.S. military that was ended in 2011. The BSA doesn't inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers or members, but denies membership to openly gay individuals.

"I said, 'Hey, this policy has to be changed. What can we do to overturn this policy?' " Griffin, 22, said of his meeting with Glen Goddard, program director for the council. "He said we can't do anything at the local level."

Griffin said he intends to keep telling his story and to keep working to change the policy.

The council said earlier that Griffin was fired because he continued wearing nail polish after he was asked to remove it. But many of the other staff members who joined Griffin on Wednesday, wearing their BSA uniforms, said the nail polish was a red herring and that many of them were also wearing nail polish at the time of the firing.

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