Bizarre. The Montpelier, Vermont City Council decided to remove a local Boy Scout troop’s longstanding vendor agreement to sell bottled water at the city Independence Day Celebration, because city councilman Thierry Guerlain disagreed with the BSA’s policy on allowing avowed homosexual adults as adult leaders.
Understandably, the troop then declined to clean up the park after the event - another long-standing commitment, of which Guerlain was unaware. Guerlain reacted angrily, as he felt the Scouts should still agree to pick up the litter left after the event by citizens, despite being told that they were unwelcome at the event itself.
Guerlain said that he had “he hoped Montpelier would make national news with a position not to allow any group that discriminates to operate with the city’s stamp of approval,” but it didn’t turn out as well as he had hoped. Guerlain, who seems to be unfamiliar with where the BSA is headquartered, said “I hope that we don’t approve (the vendor requests), and I hope that it makes national press, and I hope that the message gets to Washington that we said no,” said Guerlain. “We’re not going to let a group that openly discriminates against gays sell water at our parade. … It’s difficult, it’s uncomfortable, but I think it’s our chance to do the right thing.”
No word on whether Guerlain also prohibits any Catholic, or for that matter Islamic, organizations from selling food at the event.
Associated General Contractors of Vermont pulled its longstanding donation of safety vests and cones from the event, citing dissatisfaction with the city council’s treatment of the Boy Scouts. Casella Waste Systems and the local sheriff stepped in with safety equipment to fill that gap. City councillors and other community volunteers are stepping up to fill the shoes left behind by the Scouts, said Ashley Witzenberger, the executive director of the event’s organizer, Montpelier Alive."
“They went from teaching the boys discrimination to also teaching them spite,” said Guerlain, who called the decision not to volunteer at the event a “spiteful move” on the part of local Boy Scout leaders. [Translated, that means “*You are not welcome at my event, but how dare you refuse to pick up our trash afterwards!”} “I’m surprised that we’re even discussing the fact that it’s more important to get the trash picked up conveniently by the Boy Scouts than to respect the civil rights of lesbian and gay parents who are disinvited from the Boy Scouts.”
This probably didn’t work out to be the kind of Teachable Moment that Guerlain planned.