Anderson Cooper | Boy Scouts | News | Ryan Andresen

Anderson Cooper Interviews Ryan Andresen, Boy Scout Denied Eagle Scout Rank for Being Gay: VIDEO


18-year-old Boy Scout Ryan Andresen and his amazing mom Karen were interviewed by Anderson Cooper about the BSA's denial of Eagle Scout rank to him because he's gay, despite the fact that he had completed every requirement.

Andresen says that he has had 170 pledges from other scouts wanting to give him their Eagle pins.


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  1. Here's the link to the petition that Ryan's mom set up for him. Let's get that number even higher!

    Posted by: Larry | Oct 24, 2012 3:30:59 PM

  2. Seems like a nice guy and oh so tickled to meet Anderson. Who wouldn't be?!?!

    Posted by: Gigi | Oct 24, 2012 3:40:51 PM

  3. I hate how the logic never adds up....and people never seem to talk about that aspect.
    If homophobic conservatives think being gay is a choice and that they need to stop that behavior and marry a woman....then by their own rules he could say 'i'm not gay anymore', get his badge, and then say hes gay again....his 'choice changes. (Of course, not that he should deny who he is, but rather play the logic came of their belief system).

    so if they think being gay is not a choice and he can't just change his mind to get the eagle award, then they admit that being gay is a born trait and therefore all rights should be honored.

    either way its discrimination and I don't know why we're a country that still puts up with that.

    Posted by: juan | Oct 24, 2012 3:46:19 PM

  4. In my opinion, it is self-evident that anyone affiliated with the Boy Scouts who actually cares about children should immediately leave the group and work to create an alternative to replace the BSA. The Boy Scouts' poisonous policies of homophobia and compulsory religion denigrate American ideals of individual dignity.

    Posted by: Matt | Oct 24, 2012 3:50:05 PM

  5. What a wonderful guy, I am so proud of him and his mom... stand strong. You and we all shall overcome :)

    Posted by: RxR | Oct 24, 2012 3:52:22 PM

  6. He is so much more than an Eagle Scout.

    Posted by: Nate | Oct 24, 2012 4:00:43 PM

  7. Good for him and his mom. And nice all the other scouts want to give him their medals in protest.

    I was a Cub Scout, Webelo, and briefly Boy Scout myself.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 24, 2012 4:09:24 PM

  8. And seriously, no offense, but how did the scouts not know Ryan was gay? I mean my gaydar is needs recalibration, but it went into the red when he started speaking.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 24, 2012 4:12:12 PM

  9. Does my heart good.

    On another topic, dear Yanks: is Romney really winning? Jeez.

    Posted by: Michael in Toronto | Oct 24, 2012 4:15:34 PM

  10. Hopefully Andresen has thanked those 170 scouts offering up their eagle pins, but has come to realize that being an eagle scout is an achievement without merit. The reality is, this kid is clearly too good for the scouts.

    Posted by: Keppler | Oct 24, 2012 4:30:35 PM

  11. to throw out the baby with the bathwater makes no sense. scouting is an invaluable experience, ESPECIALLY for the freaks and geeks, and i mean that in the best way. the guys who do so well in scouting are often those who don't fit in in most other settings, and might never otherwise have the experience of camaraderie that scouting provides, not to mention the one on one attention from adult scouts, of which molestation is a tiny percentage, and easily preventable. there is a far greater chance that a child will be groomed and molested by a coach or teacher.

    scouting's weirdness is a direct function of the LDS decision to disband their young men's program and make scouting mandatory for mormon boys. they even created their own book for scouts with separate responsibilities and badges, all training for mormon priesthood, something almost all mormon men achieve. their investment of funds and adult male participation became so prominent they were able to hijack the organization completely with the tacit collusion of the roman catholic church.

    the reason the BSA continues to have members, even though their is grassroots disapproval of this policy is that a, their simply is no other organization that can provide a similar experience, and b, the LDS have made it clear that they will clear out lock stock and barrel, taking with them a disproportionate number of members and financial support on a scale that would bankrupt scouting as it is currently known.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Oct 24, 2012 4:52:09 PM

  12. ps: their are far more scouts who have returned their eagle badge and other eagle paraphernalia in protest. this discrimination is antithetical to boy scout principal, and the eagle rank is the creme de la creme of scouts.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Oct 24, 2012 4:54:18 PM

  13. Nice sweet kid deserves to be an Eagle Scout.

    Posted by: jaragon | Oct 24, 2012 5:08:27 PM

  14. Five years from now, he will laugh about all of this.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Oct 24, 2012 5:26:56 PM

  15. Beautiful inside and out.

    Posted by: Yeek | Oct 24, 2012 5:53:26 PM

  16. You would think in this day & age, there would be acceptance for ALL mankind no matter what. Ryan, keep holding your head high & stay true to yourself. You are a beautiful person!

    Posted by: Valerie | Oct 24, 2012 7:33:54 PM

  17. Fortunately the support he is getting outside of the scouts can counteract the devastation of achieving his scouting goal but not being recognized for it.

    I wish him the best - and I hope that the scouts will abandon their policy of bigotry and hatred sooner rather than later.

    Posted by: Mitch | Oct 24, 2012 10:10:47 PM

  18. Romney isn't winning.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Oct 24, 2012 10:12:14 PM

  19. FIRST = the morholes and conservative catholics rule the BSA BOARD,It is satid that they threatened to pull out 40% of the troups.
    SECOND, notice that the Scouts who can pass get their badge anyhow. For Ryan not to acknowledge his gayness to people would be dishonest, as it's conspicuous. Those of us who are less obviously guessed are no better or worse, and must stand up

    Posted by: Bob | Oct 24, 2012 11:08:41 PM

  20. I agree with David Ehrenstein that Romney isn't winning, though his campaign and the press have their distinct motivations for wanting to push that narrative.

    It's closer than I'd prefer but there is a 95% likelihood that the winner of Ohio will win the election and polls show us consistently with a small lead there. If the President can take Nevada, Wisconsin and Ohio, then he'd almost certainly prevail even were Romney to win North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire. If we get people on our side to the polls (including young voters), we'll be OK.

    Posted by: Patric | Oct 24, 2012 11:30:59 PM

  21. "And seriously, no offense, but how did the scouts not know Ryan was gay?"

    @Ratbastard: Did you bother to warch the video before posting your question? Anderson asked him if the scout troop and well as the scout leader knew he was gay and he said that yes, they all knew. He said that the leader knew Ryan was gay but never talked to him about it. It became an issue when he was refused the Eagle Scout badge because of the leadership's homophobia.

    Posted by: GregV | Oct 24, 2012 11:35:48 PM

  22. You know what? I've watched several videos about this and Ryan Andresen is a great kid with a great mom.

    But while achieving the BSA's Eagle pin was clearly an important goal to him, in the past several months hundreds of Eagle Scouts have sent their Eagle medals BACK to the Boy Scouts. Over 100 have sent their Eagle pins to HIM.

    So you get a little older and that medal isn't that big a deal. It's a hard lesson, but being denied this medal will end up doing better things for him, making him a stronger, better person than getting it would ever have done.

    Posted by: Caliban | Oct 25, 2012 12:33:21 AM

  23. He reminds me of the "Justin" character on "Queer As Folk". Hot, smart and handsome...a winning combination if I've ever seen one.

    Posted by: millerbeach | Oct 25, 2012 4:59:33 AM

  24. now, I was a boy scout a long time ago ... so forgive me, but all of the reports that I have read the boy scouts always state that they don't discriminate against anyone who wants to be a scout, but leaders cannot be gay. This kid earned that badge ... biggotted assholes need to stop now and get with the program!! More power to this kid for taking them on, I hope he wins!!

    Posted by: tommyboy10T | Oct 25, 2012 7:13:49 AM

  25. Hate to interject reality here but if the lad had butched it up a bit we would have been spared the end of video spectacle of him wanting to jump in Anderson Cooper's lap. That being said, Ryan was unaware of a very public purge of suspected homosexuals a few years back which sparked the investigation now coming to light about the rampant molestation in the BSA? My he has such a lucky lisp.

    Posted by: DC Arnold | Oct 25, 2012 9:31:01 AM

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