When Pascal Tessier became one of the country’s first openly gay Eagle Scouts in February, he pledged to keep pushing the organization he loves to become more inclusive.
On Wednesday, the Chevy Chase teen challenged the Boy Scouts' remaining ban on gay scout leaders, delivering a Change.org petition with more than 120,000 signatures to the Seattle headquarters of Amazon, reports The Baltimore Sun. The petition asks the online retailer to stop donations by its charitable program, AmazonSmile, to the Boy Scouts.
Tessier was joined by Geoff McGrath, a Scoutmaster from Seattle who was fired earlier this year because he is gay.
"I am standing here today outside of Amazon.com's headquarters to deliver one important message: discrimination is nothing to smile about," Tessier said, according to the Sun. "I'm asking Amazon to stand by its own policy and its commitment to the LGBT community, and remove organizations that discriminate against LGBT people -- like the Boy Scouts of America did when they fired Geoff McGrath -- from their AmazonSmile program."
Boy Scout Troop 52 of Chevy Chase, one of the
nation's oldest, recognized Tessier with the rank of Eagle Scout this winter,
reports WISTV.com. He has spoken
frequently to the national media advocating for the overturn of the Boy
Scouts' ban on gay scouts.
Gay youths have been allowed in the Boy Scouts of America since Jan. 1, after the organization's national council voted in May 2013 to lift its longstanding ban on gay scouts.
However, gay leaders in the organization
remain banned and Tessier and his family hope to see that restriction
lifted, as well.
"On my 18th birthday, I'm planning on applying to be an adult leader for the Boy Scouts so that we push the issue," he said.
Tessier said he was glad he would still be
able to call himself a Boy Scout and become an Eagle Scout, but he said he
would remain an activist on the issue.
"There's so much more to do," he told CBS News last winter. "I'm not stopping. That's for sure."
He told the Washington Post his experience as a Scout has been life-changing and he "wouldn’t be the person I am today without the Boy Scouts.”