Gay Eagle Scout in Maryland is one of nation's first
- Pascal Tessier, left, a gay Boy Scout, receives his Eagle Scout badge from Troop 52 Scoutmaster Don Beckham, Monday in Chevy Chase. Tessier, of Maryland, has become one of the first openly gay scouts to reach the highest rank of Eagle, following a policy change to allow gay youth in the Boy Scouts of America. (Photo: Associated Press)
CHEVY CHASE, Md. (AP) - Change is coming quickly to the Boy Scouts of America.
It took only a few weeks since the Scouts lifted a ban on gay youth for a gay scout in Maryland to achieve the highest rank of Eagle Scout. On Monday night, Boy Scout Troop 52 formed a circle and gave Pascal Tessier a sustained applause when the scoutmaster announced the 17-year-old was officially an Eagle.
For more than a year, Tessier of Kensington has been speaking out to end the ban on gay youth in scouting. After a vote last year, the policy changed Jan. 1 to include all boys, regardless of sexual orientation.
The advocacy group Scouts for Equality says Tessier is likely the nation's first openly gay Eagle under the new policy and the most high profile.