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Straight Eagle Scout Returns Badge in Protest of Boy Scouts' Anti-Gay Policies


Martin Cizmar, the arts and culture editor of Portland Oregon's weekly Williamette Week, returned his Eagle Scout badge to the Boy Scouts yesterday in protest of the group's anti-gay policies.

CizmarWrote Cizmar: "I am not gay. However, I cannot in good conscious hold thi sbadge as long as the BSA continues a policy of bigotry. Though I didn't know at the time, I was acquainted with a number fo gay scouts and scouters. They were all great men, loyal to the scout oath and motto and helpful to the movement. There is no fair reason they should not be allowed to participate in scouting."

Added Cizmar on Twitter: "Just mailed my Eagle Scout medal back to the BSA to protest the ban on gay scouts. Kinda sad, but important."

(image via imgur)

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  1. amen brother! thanks for the support.

    Posted by: DRG | Jul 20, 2012 10:25:57 AM

  2. When I was a young boy growing up in a very small farming town I never, ever imagined that we'd have the level of support from the straight community that we do today. In those days (mid-80's) we were nothing more than an afterthought. Something to be ridiculed and made fun of. While those attitudes still persist it's important to realize how far we've come. I really appreciate guys like Cizmar who aren't afraid to stand up against such injustices. Thank you sir!

    Posted by: Gigi | Jul 20, 2012 10:39:12 AM

  3. It's very important that we get support from the straight community. It means a lot.

    Posted by: Jack M | Jul 20, 2012 10:40:53 AM

  4. Mr. Cizmar: thank you for your support. Obviously, the teachings of being an Eagle Scout prevailed in spite of the bigotry held by those powers that be

    Posted by: Vince | Jul 20, 2012 10:56:05 AM

  5. Very glad to have his support!

    Posted by: reality | Jul 20, 2012 11:30:47 AM

  6. He is keeping the Boy Scout Oath, Duty to Self (self integrity), Duty to other people (LGBT people and all free people)and Duty to God (who created all people equal) and Duty to Country (America is a country where all men have equal rights under the law with freedoms and justice for all). The Boy Scouts have a history of discrimination going back to when they refused black African Americans from being Boy Scouts. Until the Boy Scouts allow all people to join they are no longer a part of America and should be refused and denied any and all rights until they stop their policy of discrimination against minority people such as LGBT children and their parents who want to be Scouts.

    Posted by: Mike | Jul 20, 2012 11:55:12 AM

  7. Thank you for your support.

    Posted by: Adam | Jul 20, 2012 12:08:09 PM

  8. A great and moving letter. Not only has he returned his medals, but he has also crafted an eloquent rebuttal to the actions of the leaders of the Boy Scouts. One can only hope that they will listen.

    Posted by: gr8guyca | Jul 20, 2012 12:15:48 PM

  9. Martin Cizmar, what a great guy !! Mikes comments really hit the nail on the head. Strait guys that are artistic or into culture almost always get it. His is very selfless gesture that is a powerful statement. The letter is very well written.

    Posted by: Tom in long beach | Jul 20, 2012 12:20:19 PM

  10. It's good to see one brave scout continuing to do the right thing so many years after becoming an eagle scout. I'm hoping there are more scouts who will stand with him.

    Posted by: Kris | Jul 20, 2012 12:21:13 PM

  11. allies ROCK. more please~

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jul 20, 2012 12:23:57 PM

  12. It's great to have allies. I, too, never imagined that our community would begin getting so much support from straight men. I'm grateful for people like Martin - they move this important healing process along.

    Posted by: mike128 | Jul 20, 2012 12:24:04 PM

  13. This is my feeling completely. I do not understand such a bigoted stand. "A Boy Scout is ....Friendly, courteous, kind, ....", not bigoted, hateful, exclusive. "A Boy Scout is Reverent"..... not to a hateful, right wing, exclusive god, but a Boy Scout is reverent to his own tradition and to the beliefs of others......He is supposed to protect and defend the rights of others to be different in their religious views. THAT is the tradition I learned. It wasn't until years later as an adult that I realized that the Boy Scouts didn't really mean any of those things; that they were co-opted by pseudo-militaristic, misogynistic, religious thugs who were candy wrapping such powerfully dangerous ideas inside the Scout Oath. They don't want anyone who isn't their own kind. As far as this Eagle Scout is concerned, they (the national council) is now a front for the KKK. If I could actually find my Eagle, I would return it to the national council saying I don't believe in bigotry, hate and fear mongering, I also don't believe in the hateful, fear mongering god that they actively promote.

    Posted by: Steve | Jul 20, 2012 12:29:52 PM

  14. Watta guy--and one who understand what the BSA is all about much better than those who kow-tow to fake-religion-based bigotry.

    What a guy.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Jul 20, 2012 12:40:41 PM

  15. Martin -
    I know this was a difficult decision for you. But I also know that a scout does strives to do the right thing, even if he stands alone. You did the right thing. Thank you.

    Posted by: psxblueyes | Jul 20, 2012 12:41:07 PM

  16. Extremely well written, powerful letter. Commends to Mr. Cizmar, as has been said, it's awesome to see such support from a straight male eagle scout, great to see someone who truly "gets it" and selflessly does the right thing.

    Posted by: Francis | Jul 20, 2012 12:57:07 PM

  17. Martin, thank you. Your actions exemplify the best of scouting. Your support and those of others like you is incredibly important. I congratulate you on your scouting achievements but, more importantly, on how you have put the life lessons learning in scouting to good use.

    Posted by: Jay | Jul 20, 2012 1:00:28 PM

  18. Good afternoon Jay,

    I sent mine back on Tuesday.

    Do all you can to make today a good day,


    Posted by: Jeff Hess | Jul 20, 2012 1:05:22 PM

  19. It is a shame that scouting continues to hold a tradition of bigotry and exclusion. Martin, as a former boy scout, cub scout den leader and a transgender woman, I want to commend you for the eloquence and power of your action. That has got to be one of the greatest acts of bravery and support I have had the honor to witness.

    Posted by: Chutney | Jul 20, 2012 1:28:12 PM

  20. Kudos to Martin & Jeff (and everyone else making stands like this). While you may no longer have the medal, you possess the ideals and integrity that it represents, and that's really so much more valuable and important.

    Posted by: MrRoboto | Jul 20, 2012 1:56:12 PM

  21. Good for him. I was a scout and as a former scout and Eagle Scout who finds the current BSA more than despicable, I deeply appreciate the stand he is taking...

    Posted by: Robert In WeHo | Jul 20, 2012 2:31:11 PM

  22. Thank you Martin.

    Posted by: Randy | Jul 20, 2012 3:04:15 PM

  23. I am also an Eagle Scout. This story has inspired me to do the same. I will return my badge and medal to the BSA.

    Posted by: ksd | Jul 20, 2012 4:51:58 PM

  24. Please don't tell me that there are GAY scout leaders. The next thing that you will tell me is that there are gay Catholic priests. If you toss out all the gay scout leaders and all the gay Catholic priests you will end those institutions and mabye that is a good thing.No mabye about it.

    Posted by: andrew | Jul 21, 2012 4:09:02 AM

  25. I'm sure that this is not PC. But, when I was a boy growing up in a working class neighborhood near Phila, it was considered "gay" to be a boy scout. Me and my buddies would never have joined such a "gay" or "nerdy" group. I guess times change.

    Posted by: andrew | Jul 21, 2012 4:22:56 AM

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