Several employees of a summer camp run by the Boy Scouts responded in solidarity to a gay young man who was dismissed from his position. The camp’s official stance was that he was released because he wasn’t dressing appropriate for the camp. As his co-workers took a stand, the Eagle Scout mulled his options for filing a workplace discrimination complaint.
The eight-year camp employee expressed his shock at being fired. He elaborated that the recent stand taken by the Scouts against same-sex relationships contributed to the management’s decision to relieve him of his duties. He is considering legal action against the BSA.
The camp employs about 30 staff members. The man’s co-workers insisted that the man’s firing occurred because he was gay. However, the regional program director said that the firing was due to noncompliance with the uniform policy: the man had resisted requests to remove his nail polish and earring.
Although California prohibits sexual-orientation discrimination, those laws may not apply to the Boy Scouts, according to a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000. Because of the spiritual values of the Scouts, agnostics and atheists are also banned. While the BSA does not ask about sexual preferences of those who join, the organization will refuse to admit those are open about their homosexuality.
Lawsuits because of sexual-orientation discrimination are on the rise across the county as more people are more open about their personal lives, which can sometimes collide with their work lives. However, under no circumstances is a hostile work environment acceptable.
Source: The Sacramento Bee, “Gay Eagle Scout fired from Northern California summer camp; 10 quit in protest,” Ed Fletcher, July 25, 2012