Boy Scouts | News | Thomas Roberts

Eagle Scout Renounces Rank Over Boy Scouts Policy on Gays: VIDEO


Today on MSNBC, Thomas Roberts spoke with Naka Nathaniel, an Eagle Scout who has renounced his rank over the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policies.

Watch Roberts' interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Wrote Nathaniel in a Daily Beast article over the weekend:

When I earned my Eagle Scout rank 20 years ago, I was proud of my accomplishment. When my little brother earned his Eagle 13 years later, I traveled halfway round the world to attend his court of honor. I was proud of him and my family. My parents had raised two Eagle Scouts.

Today, I’m ashamed to be an Eagle Scout.

I don’t want my son to participate in Scouting.

I would rather my son be gay than be an Eagle Scout.

The antigay policies of the Boy Scouts of America have forced me to turn my back on an organization that, along with my parents, I credit for helping me be a good son, a good husband, a good employee, and a good citizen.

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  1. I was kicked out of the Scouts for skipping two grades. A close Eagle Scout friend was kicked out for being gay and pursued a lawsuit for years.

    I hate them, and providing public accommodations for them is absurd.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jun 18, 2012 3:32:37 PM

  2. Naka Nathaniel is right - more Eagle Scouts should be renoucing their rank in protest of the ban, especially those with gay siblings or children. Its great that we have straight allies like Nathaniel but it would be even better if there were more.

    Posted by: KT | Jun 18, 2012 4:26:07 PM

  3. Give me a break. You feel that as a result of being a Boy Scout that you are "a good son, a good husband, a good employee, and a good citizen." Why this fierce defense of gays? Many people are all these things without the Boy Scouts. Someone probably put you up to this. The Boy Scouts have been so prominent in the news of late. Who cares? I wanted to be a Brownie, but I couldn't fit in the dress. This is another perfect example of how "unjust" life can be for gays - who, in case haven't noticed, want "everything." Perfect story for Roberts. He reminds me of a little old lady. Let's all be "outraged!" Did you know he was gay in real life?

    Posted by: GB | Jun 18, 2012 4:32:42 PM

  4. Tell me if I'm taking this wrong but doesn't the statement, "I would rather my son be gay than be an Eagle Scout." sound like an underhanded insult?

    He's ashamed of being an eagle scout so he'd rather his son were gay than an eagle scout?

    Posted by: wadice | Jun 18, 2012 4:45:56 PM

  5. @Wadice: I took his statement as as a compliment. He wouldn't take the stand that he did if he had any animus

    Posted by: phil | Jun 18, 2012 4:58:28 PM

  6. @GB i took it as more that he credited the organization with helping him become the person he did, not that nothing else could. Like a lot of abhorrent groups (Most Religions, Cults, and groups of "Concerned Citizens") the basic tenets of the Boy Scouts are admirable, and most people who go through ti probably never had to even witness anything happen to a gay member or friend. However now he is renouncing all the effort and time he put into the organization to achieve the rank he did because he realized how bad they are. You seem to have an issue with the reporter and carried it over to the story.

    @Phil, that's how i took it as well, but it did make me go over it again because it did jar me at first. But taken with every thing else I took it as a good statement given by a guy who doesn't quite understand the people he is standing up for but still willing to stand up.

    Posted by: RandyOwen | Jun 18, 2012 5:14:15 PM

  7. I did not get to do Boy Scouts as a child. I believe I missed an incredible exerience. I do not agree with the Boy SCout policy but I also know that they are an organization whose origins are faith based. That being said only time and peaceful communication will bring about a change in how the they interprets God's love.

    Posted by: Douglas | Jun 18, 2012 6:13:03 PM

  8. It reminds me of Scientology, although in light of Mr. Travolta, we know accepts gays, or more likely gay money. Yes, I do have an issue with Mr. Roberts. He represents to me a contemporary gay robot, perfectly programmed for the times.

    Posted by: GB | Jun 18, 2012 6:54:23 PM

  9. As a gay Eagle Scout, I not only whole-heartedly DISAGREE with this dude's actions. By renouncing his Eagle Scout rank he's giving the scouts exactly what they want - 1 less gay scout.

    I considered surrendering my Eagle rank a few months ago, but besides feeling like I was spitting in the face of the hard work that I put into earning this badge, not to mention the hard work of my parents and community who helped me with this achievement, I decided that keeping and flaunting my Eagle rank was the best f**k you I could give the scouts' homophobic policies.

    If the scobe to be uts don't want be to be a gay Eagle Scout then they can come pry this rank from my gay, glittery hands!!!

    Posted by: DJ Gayburn | Jun 18, 2012 6:54:43 PM

  10. This is blatant pro-gay propaganda What's next?.

    Posted by: Zack | Jun 18, 2012 8:53:48 PM

  11. I was a cub scout, and a boy scout, but I'm too old to remember what rank I became. I know I had a lot of fun times in the scouts, but what stands out most in my memory is that it was an all white troop. There was plenty of ni**er as well as Fa**ot being thrown around by the boys. Which is why they need more black leaders and gay leaders. When they don't exist, the men in charge just look away and pretend they don't see or hear any of it. It becomes a "boys will be boys" mentality, rather than a teachable moment.

    Also, I remember our leader had his son in our troop, and I didn't know what a "nelly" boy was back then, but he was in deed a very feminine young boy. I remember his father was VERY VERY hard on him and he could do nothing to please his father. And he tried so hard. I felt so sorry for him, and could not help but hate his father for being so disgustingly mean and down right angry with his son for not being good at sports or anything else for that matter. That man would have his son in tears at every meeting. That boy wanted so bed to please his father, but nothing he did was ever good enough.

    I hope that boy has accepted his homosexuality and has disowned his pathetic father.

    Posted by: Steve Pardue | Jun 18, 2012 10:24:11 PM

  12. GB,
    I can already guess your race and gender from reading your comments. Most likely a black lady (maybe lesbian) bitter that gay rights is trumping your cries of "vow is me" and stealing your thunder?
    Get used to it, because we will fight till the death to attain equality across the board B-TCH

    Posted by: Scott Landores | Jun 18, 2012 10:34:59 PM

  13. When you're dead have someone notify me. This black lesbian could use some good news.

    Posted by: GB | Jun 18, 2012 11:03:23 PM

  14. Again it is the anti-gay Christians who are working to stop gay people from becoming scouts in America. These anti-gay Christians are not really Christians as a real Christians follows the word of God and God said all men are created equal. These anti-gay Christians are giving the Christian religion a bad name.

    Posted by: Dave | Jun 18, 2012 11:04:31 PM

  15. Black Lesbian? I don't think so. GB is a fat white guy living in his mother's basement. Think "Rush Limbaugh without the sex appeal"

    He spends much of his time hating gays. But most of his time is spent masturbating to Jake Cruise videos.

    Posted by: Steveinde | Jun 18, 2012 11:16:57 PM

  16. Not quite. Live in Pacific Palisades. If you saw me on the street I guarantee you'd cruise me. Today's gays deserve what they get. I'm familiar with your Steveinde. Your "wit" reveals a lot. Get help.

    Posted by: GB | Jun 18, 2012 11:25:43 PM

  17. i take issue with one point. the origins of scouting were not faith based. its origins, going back to lord baden-powell, had far less interest in religion than in physical activity and good citizenship. there was no proscription against any religion or no religion beyond the idea that good citizens attended church. a patch was awarded for speaking to your religious authority about religion, but no obligation to believe specifically in god or gods for membership in scouting. in fact, BSA is the only or nearly so scouting organization that has made rigid demands, and that occurred less than 30 years ago as the mormon church took control of the national board of directors and moved the headquarters from new jersey to texas, guaranteeing an ultra conservative board. it was at about the same time as the lds church abandoned any independent male youth program and made scouting participation mandatory for young men.

    to whit:

    "Scouting, also known as the Scout Movement, is a worldwide youth movement with the stated aim of supporting young people in their physical, mental and spiritual development, that they may play constructive roles in society.
    Scouting began in 1907 when Robert Baden-Powell, Lieutenant General in the British Army, held the first Scouting encampment on Brownsea Island in England. Baden-Powell wrote the principles of Scouting in Scouting for Boys (London, 1908), based on his earlier military books, with influence and support of Frederick Russell Burnham (Chief of Scouts in British Africa), Ernest Thompson Seton of the Woodcraft Indians, William Alexander Smith of the Boys' Brigade, and his publisher Pearson. During the first half of the 20th century, the movement grew to encompass three major age groups each for boys (Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Rover Scout) and, in 1910, a new organization, Girl Guides, was created for girls (Brownie Guide, Girl Guide and Girl Scout, Ranger Guide).
    The movement employs the Scout method, a program of informal education with an emphasis on practical outdoor activities, including camping, woodcraft, aquatics, hiking, backpacking, and sports. Another widely recognized movement characteristic is the Scout uniform, by intent hiding all differences of social standing in a country and making for equality."

    take especial note of that last sentence. the emphasis was in minimizing differences and aiming for equality. the bans on atheists and homosexuals is antithetical to the purpose of the scouting movement worldwide.

    learn your scout history people

    PS: while unprovable,lord baden-powell was widely believed to be gay himself.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Jun 19, 2012 6:02:25 AM

  18. Honestly, I think it is better to keep the rank, it bugs the hell out of the organization. I am an Eagle Scout... and I am trans... Suck on that one BSA!

    Posted by: John | Jun 19, 2012 8:09:11 PM

  19. @ BANDANAJACK June 19 @ 6:02AM: From your comment, I believe that the Troop I belonged to in the late 1930's with its known Gay Scout Master; 8 member "Gay" Patrol; and three 6 member "Strait" Patrols, appears to be exactly what Lord Baden-Powell had in mind when he created the Boy Scouts.

    Posted by: Jerry6 | Jun 19, 2012 8:28:12 PM

  20. As a straight Eagle Scout, 1987, I am deeply offended by the actions of the Boy Scouts of America. So many parts of the scouting program are wonderful; Teaching good citizenship as well as camping and environmental ideals. Acceptance and respect of others are things I hold so dear, that I am ashamed of the BSA for teaching exclusion and intolerance.

    A Scout is:
    Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, Reverent, and Bigoted.

    It makes me ill.

    Posted by: Chris Jarrett | Jul 18, 2012 7:21:10 AM

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