The father of a nine-year-old says he was forced to give up a leadership role in the Scouts because he is gay.

Jon Langbert of Dallas, Texas, is openly gay and says he was given a ‘leader’ t-shirt by the Scouts group last year which he wore with pride while helping with fundraising.

However, last week, other fathers complained about Mr Langbert being gay and he was told by senior leadership to stop wearing the shirt and give up the leadership role.

The Scouts do not allow gay people or atheists to take leadership roles.

Mr Langbert told WFAA-TV: “It made me feel terrible to think about the devastating effect it would have on my son, to see his father stripped of his leadership role.

“It brought tears to my eyes.”

The Scout Circle Ten Council said Mr Langbert had never been registered as a leader and that the issue would not have arisen if he had kept his sexuality secret, as leaders and volunteers are not asked whether they are gay.

Boy Scouts of America director of public relations Deron Smith told CNN: “We focus on our mission, and our mission is to take young people and prepare them for an exceptional adulthood.

“That’s it. That’s why our policy is the way it is. Our volunteer leadership has elected to keep that policy in place. The policy, as it is written, is that the Boy Scouts does not accept for membership avowed homosexuals.”

Mr Langbert says he has been told he can continue as a volunteer but sees this as “second-class”.

He added that his son no longer wanted to be a Cub Scout after seeing his father singled out.