Denise Steele ran her son's scout group for six years, annually
winning top accolades for her work each time.
But now she has been removed from the position becuase she's
openly lesbian and lives with another woman, according to the
Loudoun Times in Virginia.
The paper report that Steele has been involved in a domestic
partnership with Jackie Funk for nearly 20 years and, together,
they have raised children Jackson, 12, and Jaden, 9, as well as
Steele's nephew Will, 10, in Patomac Falls.
Despite never hiding her sexuality during her six years of
service, it allegedly became a problem when a disapproving
colleague claimed it undermined the ethos of the Scouts
According to the Times, assistant scoutmaster Skip Inabinett
discovered Steele was a lesbian and claimed that was grounds for
But Steele claims that Inabinett 'bullied' her, saying her
sexuality was a sin, and urged the national Boy Scouts of America
organisation to get rid of her.
The Boy Scouts organisation says it believes that "open
homosexuality is inconsistent with its values" and recommends that
parents and sponsors share that belief.
Deron Smith, the director of public relations for the Boy Scouts,
said in an email to the Loudoun Times: "The [Boy Scouts of America]
recognizes that some do not agree with its position on this issue,
but values the freedom of everyone to express their opinion and
teaches its members to use courtesy and respect at all times. To
disagree does not mean to disrespect."