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Missouri Eagle Scout Eric Jones Kicked Out of Boy Scouts for Being Gay

Categories: LGBT, Missourah

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Eric Jones, Eagle Scout and camp counselor, until last Sunday.
This past Tuesday, the Boy Scouts of America announced that after two years of careful consideration, an eleven-member committee concluded that the anti-gay policy "is absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts," in the words of its spokesman, Deron Smith.

That means it's best for the Boy Scouts to fire Eric Jones, a counselor at Camp Geiger, its camp in St. Joseph. Jones had been a scout for twelve years, had a chestful of merit badges, had attained the senior rank of Eagle Scout and had been working at the camp for five summers.

After all that, Jones decided last Sunday to tell the camp director that he's gay. The director told Jones to pack up his gear and go home.

For Jones, a sophomore at Missouri State, being open about his sexuality went along with the Boy Scout pledge "To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight."

"You know this is an organization that is focused on middle school and high school and to tell them that they have to hide who they are of course puts even more stress on them," Jones told WDAF-TV in Kansas City. "Everything in the scout oath, everything is standing up for what's right."

Jones had hoped he could set an example for other gay scouts. After all, he'd been in the organization since second grade. He's an Eagle Scout, for God's sake. And doesn't the phrase "morally straight" seem to suggest a preference for honesty?

(Also, let's be clear: Jones wasn't using scouting as a way to pick up guys or "convert" younger boys. It was something he genuinely enjoyed. "Scouting was an outlet for me. An activity. Something I love and I was passionate about.")

"In my mind I thought that I had proven myself as a scout and as an employee," Jones said. "I almost thought that maybe that won't affect it, that that wouldn't matter that I had proven myself."

So much for that.

Jones told WDAF that, in the course of the firing, the camp director had told him that yes, he deserved to be there, but he couldn't stay because of Boy Scout policy.

Way to go, Boy Scouts. You just lost yourself a model scout, someone who actually tried to embody what you claim you're all about.

"This [anti-gay policy] is having an effect on our youth," Jones concluded. "You are seeing it. If anything, have some kind of compassion for them. Imagine if this was your child or a neighbor, a close friend that was going through this."

Jones's conversation with the camp director was filmed by filmmaker Ryan James Yezak, who plans to use the footage in his upcoming documentary, Second Class Citizens.

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12 comments
common sense
common sense like.author.displayName 1 Like

He wasn't trying to get them to make an exception. He was trying to get them to change an unjust policy that is teaching discrimination to supposedly morally straight people. 

Stephan Grundy
Stephan Grundy

And if Jones had just kept his mouth shut about his sexuality, would you have considered that more trustworthy? He acted like a real Scout - he stood up and told the truth in front of everyone. His only failure was that he seems to have naively thought that a noble organizational ideology would trump a not-so-noble organizational policy. I certainly wouldn't let any child of mine join an organization that might turn around and tell them, in their vulnerable teenage years, "It doesn't matter how virtuous or helpful you are, or how well you live up to the ideals of Scouting - we are throwing you out just when you need the most personal support, because of something you can no more change than you can change the colour of your skin."   

guest
guest

 What does his home troop/chartering organization say about his removal?  I think you are missing this aspect of the story.  Did they ask for him to stay?

YeahItsMe
YeahItsMe

Silliness.  The chartering organization is asking to form a troop under the BSA name/umbrella, not vice versa  Of course the BSA has the authority to set rules and policy.

guest
guest

Moral standards should be within the confines of the chartering organization, not BSA.  If a chartering organization accepts gay Scouts + Leaders, then it should be their decision.  I support the rights of the chartering organization to have people that meet their standards (a Catholic church sponsored troop should not be forced to have non-Catholic leadership), but not BSA telling them who can and cannot be members.

YeahItsMe
YeahItsMe

This young man had discussions with someone making a documentary on this topic, waits until the BSA states its position again,  pops up the camp director's office (with the filmmaker in tow) to announce he is gay, and then acts all butthurt because they didn't make a exception?  Are you really that gullible.  There was no leap of faith - he and the filmmaker planned this the whole time. I wouldn't put a 19-year old boy in charge of teen girls at a sumer camp, so why would I put a homosexual boy in charge of teen boys?  He has already proven himself to be untrustworthy.

Guest
Guest

 Shut up joo!

ThatIsNotMe
ThatIsNotMe

It' is spelled "Jew" spell it with me J-E-W. Please learn to have some respect you unjust master of luring fish. :) jkjk but seriously.

Shannon Hagan Dooley
Shannon Hagan Dooley

Ah yes, he must have just been seeking attention - like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. You know, those people who stand up for human rights merely for their 15 seconds of fame. And if he truly wanted to to use his gayness to molest little boys, he should choose Catholic priesthood instead. *end of sarcasm* This young man, knowing what he knew about policy in the organization, made a courageous leap of faith, hoping that his 12 years of impeccable service would shine through the bigotry and hate that created an outdated and bronze-age attitude policy towards homosexuality. The bible is worthless as a testament to how we should treat our fellow human beings. There may be a few good one-liners, but those ideas were not brand new with the invention of the bible. You are to be commended, Eric Jones, for your bravery, your commitment, and your strength in doing what is right even in the face of ignorance.

YeahItsMe
YeahItsMe

So wait...he knew the rules, and then acts shocked when sent home?  He expected them to make an exception for *him* immediately after the policy was reaffirmed?  LOL. What an attention seeking little snot.  And no, one cannot assume he wouldn't use his position to start a relationship with another boy.  I wouldn't trust anyone that narcissistic.

ThatIsNotMe
ThatIsNotMe

Well I think you Mr. Yeahitsme are just expressing anger since you were never ballsy enough to be able to say anything like what my friend Eric said. Get to know the guy and you won't reject him in such a repulsive fashion. Get to know a gay person and you may feel your balls drop. I know someone as shallow as you can't come up with a comeback other than "Well yor gay to. LOL" well both of the guys typing this have girlfriends and are fine with homosexuals.

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