The Boy Scouts' New York chapter has hired the nation's first openly gay Eagle Scout

By Caitlin Keating
Updated April 03, 2015 04:10 PM
Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

When Boy Scout Pascal Tessier turned 18 years old in August, he accepted what came along with becoming an adult.

He wrote a letter to the Boy Scouts of America saying goodbye because of his sexual orientation.

“Today is my 18th birthday, a milestone on my path to becoming an adult and the day I am no longer eligible to be a Boy Scout because I am gay,” part of the letter said, according to The Washington Post. “Despite the Boy Scouts’ historic decision last year to open its ranks to gay youth, the Scouts still ban gay adults. And as of today, that means me.”

It was only after Tessier, from Kensington, Maryland, said goodbye that the Boy Scouts’ Greater New York Association decided to go against the national organization’s rules and hire him as a summer camp leader, CBS reports.

According to The Washington Post, the New York chapter said it got an application from Tessier and decided he was qualified based on his merits.

In 2013, he stood on a street corner protesting the Boy Scouts’ policy against gay youth. He soon after earned the Eagle Scout ranking, making him the first openly gay Eagle Scout, according to the newspaper.

“I’m sure it won’t be a surprise to know he’s excited that he got the job,” Zack Wahls, executive director of Scouts for Equality, told The Washington Post.