Boy Scouts | Discrimination | News

Teen Denied Eagle Scout Status Because He's Gay


This will be more bad publicity for the Boy Scouts of America - and perhaps that bad publicity will make them finally shift their policies toward inclusion. From NBC News:

Ryan Andresen had recently completed the requirements to earning his Eagle Scout award, including a "tolerance wall" for victims of bullying like himself, but his Scoutmaster would not sign off on honoring him with the Boy Scouts’ highest ranking because he is gay, his mother said.

The Boy Scouts of America have a longstanding policy denying membership to gay leaders and Scouts, which they reaffirmed earlier this year after a two-year confidential review of the controversial ban. Andresen’s father, Eric, resigned after the Troop 212 Scoutmaster in Moraga, Calif., confirmed Tuesday night that Ryan wouldn’t get the award, Karen Andresen told NBC News.

Now 17-years old, Ryan has been a Scout since he was 7-years old, his mother said, and this rejection "is sending Ryan the message that he’s not a valued human being". She went on, "I want Ryan to know that he is valued … and that people care about him." Hear, hear!

The image above, by the way, is of Ryan in front of the "tolerance wall" he made with nearly 300 elementary school children.

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  1. Poor guy. Hopefully he can wahls this into a powerful platform for tolerance.

    Also, it's "hear, hear," not "here, here."

    Posted by: Brian | Oct 4, 2012 3:39:53 PM

  2. OK, the sh@@ is going to hit the fan and Ryan is going to get his Eagle status! Congratulations to Dad for quitting.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Oct 4, 2012 3:44:47 PM

  3. Strikes me the whole of the management board of the US Scouts should me made to learn the script of Ryan's tolerasnce wall by heart and write out 500 times what the basic message is. Ryan is a valuable member of society!

    Posted by: malcanoid | Oct 4, 2012 3:47:03 PM

  4. Where can we write to voice our displeasure?

    Posted by: Jack M | Oct 4, 2012 3:47:48 PM

  5. @Jack M: I'm sure the following URL has some advice:

    I doubt the BSA will change any time soon. They also believe atheists aren't valued as human beings.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Oct 4, 2012 3:53:54 PM

  6. For a lack of a more eloquent thing to say...THIS IS BULLSH*T!

    Posted by: Frank | Oct 4, 2012 3:56:07 PM

  7. For a lack of a more eloquent thing to say...THIS IS BULLSH*T!

    Posted by: Frank | Oct 4, 2012 3:56:08 PM

  8. There's a Ryan support petition to the BSA at you can sign. It already has almost 65,000 signatures on it. Right now it's the first petition on the list.

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Oct 4, 2012 4:08:25 PM

  9. No offense, but they just now noticed the ban on gays in the BSA?

    Posted by: BobN | Oct 4, 2012 4:08:59 PM

  10. Sad as it is, the BSA will not change because they get major $upport and recruit$ from the Mormon and Catholic churchs. And we all KNOW they're never going to change even if they were to face dwindling numbers.

    Posted by: Reggie777 | Oct 4, 2012 4:14:43 PM

  11. oops.. churches.

    Posted by: Reggie777 | Oct 4, 2012 4:15:37 PM

  12. This reminds me of gay reality game show contestants who make if far only to be cut before the last deciding episode. Eagle is the highest a boy scout can go.

    Posted by: Billy Crytical | Oct 4, 2012 4:19:42 PM

  13. Why are we congratulating the father? He was perfectly happy to support the organization and enroll his son when it was harming OTHER parents' kids. He's a hypocrit in my book.

    Posted by: JJ | Oct 4, 2012 4:25:17 PM

  14. Oh, yeah, regarding that petition I mentioned above, I understand BSA rules are that one has to earn his Eagle badge by their 18th birthday. For Ryan, that birthday is this coming Monday. So, if you're interested in signing the petition, do it quickly. Perhaps this sad story will make more corporations take note of the BSA's anti-gay bias against young men like Ryan who've been in scouting their entire young life.

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Oct 4, 2012 4:27:54 PM

  15. Brian is correct: the phrase is "hear, hear" (from "hear ye, hear ye"), not "here, here." If you're going to write "here, here" then you also have to say "nucular" instead of "nuclear"; "nucular" and "here, here" are equally meaningless.

    Posted by: JOE 2 | Oct 4, 2012 4:34:37 PM

  16. WHO CARES!?

    Lets let this headline read a different way:

    "Local teen is tested by local bigots, comes out ahead"

    I mean wtf? Are we supposed to hate the boy-scouts? ALREADY DO. The mom seems concerned for NOTHING as OMG CLEARLY that kid is ALL RIGHT.

    Not condoning any reverse positivity on bullying or whatever, just like, who cares, gay kid gets a little cooler, get over it.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 4, 2012 4:40:12 PM

  17. Is there an address or facebook page where we can let Ryan know we support him?

    Posted by: Tony | Oct 4, 2012 4:42:07 PM

  18. SO, what other scouting group is going to step up and award this guy an equivalent status?

    Posted by: Randy | Oct 4, 2012 5:03:47 PM

  19. There are many good people in Scouts, but certainly not enough. Scouting does many good things--but its callous attitude toward gay people is not one of them. With people like Ryan leading the way, they will eventually change. He is an Eagle Scout, and more, in my book.

    Posted by: grench | Oct 4, 2012 5:09:56 PM

  20. Why-O-Why did he even want to be a boy scout? There are plenty of other volunteering organizations to join.

    Posted by: anon | Oct 4, 2012 5:50:36 PM

  21. The Boy Scouts are like the Catholic Church when it comes to gays, they blame the gays for all of their problems and yet it is the Catholics who let the pedophile priest rape and abuse the Catholic children not gays as they try to push their problems over on the LGBT people. The same is true of the Scouts they also have a pedophile problem as we all recently found out in the news and they are doing the same thing shift the attention to the gays and blame it all on the LGBT people. This kind of propaganda cost a lot of money and the Scouts and Catholics Church have plenty of money to pay the Public Relations people to make it look like a gay problem but not everybody is falling for those lies because the people know that it is heterosexual who are the pedophiles and they are the ones who are the Catholic priest and Scout Leaders who rape and abuse children, boys and girls. So when ever you see the Scouts and Catholics push their pedophile problem over on to the gays, push it right back witthh the facts that prove it is the heterosexual Priest and Scout leaders who rape and abuse children. The Catholic Church and Boy Scouts know that this is true so they try to twist the truth and make it a lie or confusing for some people with limited education. Stop them from pushing their pedophile problem over onto the gays and make them take responsibility to clean up their own house first and stop making gays the source of their problem. In truth by doing that pushing their problem off and lying about it only gets more Catholic children raped and abused by Catholic heterosexual priest who are the pedophiles who go unstopped because the Catholic Church takes attention away from their real problem. The same with the Boy Scouts, the leaders push the pedophile problem off onto the gays while the adult Scout leaders who are heterosexuals pedophiles continue to get away with the rape and abuse of children, little boys. We know the truth and we know what you are doing Catholic Church and Boy Scouts.

    Posted by: Bob | Oct 4, 2012 6:56:02 PM

  22. The "Hear, hear!" vs. "Here, here!" argument is not settled. No one knows exactly how the interjection originated. One linguist argued that it was likely a contraction of "Hear him, hear him!" and many thought this was logical. However, another linguist pointed out that you could equally argue that the chant is correctly "Here, here!" meaning, "Here is someone we should be listening to -- direct your attention here." Some people may prefer one conjecture over the other, but you can't really call either one incorrect.

    Posted by: bierce | Oct 4, 2012 7:53:25 PM

  23. This made me sit down and squall. That sweet, brave all-american young man learned all about good citizenship and honor as a scout and then was dishonored. SHAME on the Boy Scouts. Shame, shame, shame.

    Posted by: Rick Roberts | Oct 4, 2012 8:13:11 PM

  24. There have been over 100,000 signatures in less than 48 hours.

    Discriminating against a 17 year old young man in this callous fashion is going to backfire badly on the Scouts. They're losing membership and donations as it stands now but I think this is the incident that will be a back-breaker.

    Posted by: Francis | Oct 4, 2012 9:14:35 PM

  25. The only way the Boy Scouts will ever become tolerant is if the only other choice is insolvency.

    We need to keep going after their corporate donations, and keep the bad publicity up, so their numbers go down.

    Posted by: Ryan | Oct 4, 2012 9:42:12 PM

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