The Boy Scouts of America has a long history of homophobia and religious bigotry.
Denise Steele found this out after six years of active service to them.
Her son Jackson was a Cub Scout, and Ms. Steele was an active leader in that group. When Jackson turned 12, he moved on to the Boy Scouts, and his mom followed right along, working hard to become an assistant Scoutmaster.
Sounds like a nice arrangement, right? Here’s a parent who takes an active role in her children’s interests. Here’s a parent who provides positive role model qualities to her children and to other parents.
The only fly in the ointment? Ms. Steele is gay.
Denise Steele and Jackie Funk have been in a steady relationship for 19 years. Steele didn’t flaunt her sexual orientation, but she didn’t try to hide it either–much like most other adults.
Now enter into this drama Asshole #1.
Waterheaded buttinsky ‘phobe Assistant Scoutmaster Skip Inabinett started asking questions about Ms. Steele and her family life. When he discovered that (gasp!) she was gay, he made noise to the scout troup’s charter organization leader Esther Schaeffer (Asshole #2) and Phil Holliday (Asshole #3), the executive pastor at Christian Fellowship Church, which is the troup’s sponsor.
Schaeffer and Holliday then ousted Steele from the group, claiming that they were only
obeying orders following the Boy Scouts’ charter rules. The irony here is that the lead Scoutmaster (Mike Tucker) knew about the relationship between Steele and Funk because Steele told him about it up front; Tucker told her that it shouldn’t be a problem.
Boy, was he wrong.
While some chapters follow the group’s rules religiously (no pun intended), others use some discretion and (gasp again!) common sense. It is not common for women to be involved in Boy Scout leadership, and the fact that she was willing to do so speaks volumes for her worth as both a parent and a caring person.
Christian Fellowship Church, unfortunately, doesn’t practice the compassion they preach. The church tosses out a hard-working mother because of a matter that is strictly personal and doesn’t enter into her abilities or fitness one tiny bit.
You might want to drop a line or a call (keep it civil, please) to Phil Holliday and his sanctimonious bunch at
Christian Fellowship Church
21673 Beaumeade Circle, Ashburn, VA 20147
Let them know what you think about religious organizations that weigh irrelevancies far above a person’s worth and the good works that they do.