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Activist Kensington Teen to Become Eagle Scout When Ban on Gay Scouts Ends Jan. 1

Pascal Tessier, who took his cause to the national media, said, "There's so much more to do," after the ban on gay Boy Scouts was lifted. Gay Scouts will be admitted starting Jan. 1.

Pascal Tessier of Kensington is happy he can work to become an Eagle Scout, but wants the national Scouting organization to end its ban on gay adults serving as leaders. Credit: Screenshot from NBC Washington video.
Pascal Tessier of Kensington is happy he can work to become an Eagle Scout, but wants the national Scouting organization to end its ban on gay adults serving as leaders. Credit: Screenshot from NBC Washington video.
Gay youths will be allowed in the Boy Scouts of America for the first time starting Jan. 1, after the organization's national council voted in May to lift its longstanding ban on gay scouts.

The action clears the way for Pascal Tessier of Kensington to become one of the organization's first openly gay Eagle Scouts.

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, reports NBC Washington.

However, gay leaders in the organization remain banned and Tessier and his family hope to see that restriction lifted as well.

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

Last spring, as a junior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, Tessier spoke with the national media as Boy Scout national leaders were considering changing the policy. He told The Washington Post he would be "devastated" if he were not allowed to earn Eagle Scout status because of his sexuality.

He told CBS News This Morning it was time that the Boy Scouts lifted the ban.

"Simply because you've been teaching something for a long amount of time doesn't mean it's right," 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. "I'm not stopping. That's for sure."

President Obama and gay rights groups nationwide supported lifting the ban and the Tessier family spoke against the ban in an earlier video interview with the BBC.

He told the Post his experience as a Scout has been life-changing and he "wouldn’t be the person I am today without the Boy Scouts."

For more on the ban and Tessier's comments, view the accompanying CBS News video.

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