Openly Gay Boy Scout From Md. Celebrates New Policy

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KENSINGTON, Md. (WJZ)—A Maryland teen is celebrating a controversial decision by the Boy Scouts of America. On the first day of the New Year, the organization allowed openly gay youth to remain Boy Scouts.

Mary Bubala has more on what the new policy means for one teen in Maryland.

The first day of 2014 marked a day for new beginnings, fresh starts, and for the Boy Scouts of America, a new policy.

For Kensington, Md. teen Pascal Tessier, it’s a day he’s been fighting for.

“It also signifies a great change in the BSA, which is they are taking a step forward,” Tessier said.

Tessier is gay, and he’s a Boy Scout, something that before Jan. 1 was not permissible.

“When I started this whole process, it was not an intent to be an activist or to make a change. It was just to stand up and say ‘I’m not going to be silent. I am going to be me, and I’m gay,’” Tessier said.

Tessier was in Texas in May when the vote was passed by more than 60 percent of the group’s national council.

But the new policy is not without its opposition.

An alternate faith-based scouting group was created called Trail Life USA that, coincidentally, also launched Jan. 1. But unlike the Boy Scouts, they do not admit “open and avowed homosexuals.”

Tessier is focused on the Boy Scouts and made a resolution to change the policies of the BSA once again.

While openly gay youth are allowed to be Boy Scouts, their leaders are not.

“Because they are also saying that adults — if they are gay — are not allowed. Once you turn 18, you shouldn’t be gay anymore,” Tessier said.

Tessier says he is close to becoming an Eagle Scout.

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