Boy Scouts Set to Lift Ban on Gay Members

Tuesday, Dec 31, 2013  |  Updated 7:42 AM CDT
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On Jan. 1, the Boy Scouts of America will change its policies to allow gay scouts. For a Kensington, Md., teen, that means he can try to become an Eagle Scout. News4's Chris Gordon talked to the teen and his family.  They say they will continue to fight discrimination.

Chris Gordon

On Jan. 1, the Boy Scouts of America will change its policies to allow gay scouts. For a Kensington, Md., teen, that means he can try to become an Eagle Scout. News4's Chris Gordon talked to the teen and his family. They say they will continue to fight discrimination.

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Wednesday will be a landmark day for the Boy Scouts of America organization, when it will lift a ban on openly gay scout members. 

Scout Pascal Tessier, 17, fought tirelessly to become an Eagle Scout but felt his sexual orientation was strongly looked down upon in the BSA.

Tessier said he felt as though the BSA was portraying a negative image. "You're openly gay and that's never going to happen and because you're gay, you're not good enough," he explained.

Tessier and his Bethesda-Chevy Chase Boy Scout Troop held a demonstration earlier this year at the National Capital Area Council of Boy Scouts, demanding that openly gay youth be admitted to the BSA. His older brother was also in the organization.

"At the time, he couldn't tell them I'm openly gay. This is something I can do today," Tessier said. 

Next month, Tessier will become one of the organization's first openly gay Eagle Scouts.

He said although the change is welcome, he would like to see openly gay adults be able to lead scouts.

"I want to see adults be able to say, 'I am openly gay and want to teach them how to become leaders,'" Tessier said. 

Tessier's parents told NBC Washington they are very proud of their son's accomplishments and look forward to supporting him on his future endeavors.

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