Former Eagle Scout and former Boy Scout Camp staffer Tim Griffin and his supporters are continuing their fight to gain acceptance by the Boy Scout Council that fired him for being gay.
Ten fellow workers at an Amador County Boy Scout Camp quit in support of the firing of Griffin, including his immediate boss, Alex Hayes.
Hayes was a program director at Camp Winton and decided to enlist the help of an online site called Change.org which champions social issues. It organizes petition campaigns and creates other strategies for social causes. The response surprised both Hayes and Griffin.
"We went into this expecting a thousand, maybe two thousand signatures. So far, we've collected over 60,000, pushing 70,000," said Hayes.
The Change.org website makes it easy to sign signatures, view comments from supporters and sends an e-mail for each signature to the Golden Empire Boy Scout Council in Sacramento, the group that oversees Camp Winton.
"We were completely blown away. The petition just blew up overnight," said Griffin.
Griffin is gratified by the support he's gotten on social media sites. He says he's gotten job offers next summer from other camps. Griffin has been at the camp for 16 years, beginning when he was a boy scout at the age of six. Hayes has attended or worked at the camp for 11 years.
"Leaving was not easy but ultimately standing up for what we thought was right, taking a stance against policies that we don't agree with was more important to us than our personal history with the camp," said Hayes.
Oddly, it was the ideals that the two learned as scouts that encouraged them to keep fighting after their Boy Scout Council refused to reinstate Griffin who had responded to concerns by visiting scout leaders that Griffin might be a pedophile.
"The Boy Scouts taught me to be a leader, to do what I think is right, to stand up for what I believe in," said Hayes.
Griffin says he's gotten nasty messages from social media as well as support, but he's energized by the support he's getting from all over the country.
"I'm being backed by so many great people, I'm really excited to get my story out there so that people who are in my position in the future can see that someone stood up and that they can stand up also," said Griffin.
The two along with a large group of boy scouts and eagle scouts plan to present the petitions to the Golden Empire Council offices on Wednesday. In the meantime, they hope more people sign their on-line petition.
"My best hope for this whole thing is that scouting truly becomes scouting for all..that since scouting is such a great organization that anyone who wants to be in scouting can be in it," said Griffin.
The petitions site can be found here.