An American woman has been removed from a leadership position in her son’s Boy Scout troop after a fellow assistant scout master discovered that she is a lesbian, reports the Loudoun Times.
Denise Steele, who plays an active role in her Potomac Falls, Virginia community, has been part of her 12-year-old-son Jackson’s Scout troop for six years.
In June, however, a Scout colleague found out that she is a lesbian when Steele was picked up from a camping weekend by her partner of 19 years, Jackie Funk.
When assistant scout master Skip Inabinett learned that Funk was her partner, he embarked on a campaign to remove her from the troop.
“If what you said about Denise Steele being an active sexual is true, do you feel comfortable talking with her about stepping down/resigning as an ASM,” Inabinett wrote in an e-mail to one of Steele’s friends in a bid to get Steele to resign.
“…as her friend, this may be an opportunity for you to share with her about Christ’s love and the need to believe that as sinners we cannot get to heaven on our own and that we need a saviour,” he said.
Following communication on the issue between Inabinett and Steele, she was eventually barred from taking part in her son’s scouting activities.
Lesbians and gays have been prohibited from becoming members or serving in leadership positions in the Boy Scouts of America since 1991.
The organisation’s position statement states: “We believe that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the requirement in the Scout Oath that a Scout be morally straight and in the Scout Law that a Scout be clean in word and deed, and that homosexuals do not provide a desirable role model for Scouts.”
US courts have affirmed the Scout’s right as a private organisation to place restrictions on its membership.