Teen Denied Eagle Scout Status Because He’s Gay

EagleScout

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.

Comments

  1. Brian says

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

    Also, it’s “hear, hear,” not “here, here.”

  2. UFFDA says

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

  3. malcanoid says

    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!

  4. HadenoughBS says

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

  5. Reggie777 says

    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.

  6. Billy Crytical says

    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.

  7. JJ says

    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.

  8. HadenoughBS says

    Oh, yeah, regarding that change.org 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.

  9. JOE 2 says

    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.

  10. Fenrox says

    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.

  11. Randy says

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

  12. grench says

    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.

  13. anon says

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

  14. Bob says

    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.

  15. bierce says

    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.

  16. says

    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.

  17. Francis says

    There have been over 100,000 change.com 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.

  18. says

    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.

  19. EchtKultig says

    My closest female friend told me that every guy she’s dated who was in the Boy Scouts told a similar tale of some married “straight” father making an inappropriate same-sex advance of some kind. And that by a certain age, all boys still in scouts know to be mindful of a few “bad apples”. You almost have to wonder if these organizations have a vested interest in maintaining a certain Weltanschauung that, in the minds of the innocent children, connects same-sex desire to the fear of abuse from authority figures. As everyone knows in the reality-based community knows, almost all of the most notorious pedophiles consider themselves heterosexual, and many were married. Jerry Sandusky just being the latest example. The only counter example I can think of is Jeffrey Dahmer, but, in addition to being just plain psychotic, I don’t think he was documented to have ever have had a normal gay relationship.

  20. Mark says

    According to the Boy Scouts Oath http://www.usscouts.org/advance/boyscout/bsoath.asp Ryan seems to be a great example of being morally straight. According to their own definition “Being morally straight means to live your life with honesty, to be clean in your speech and actions, and to be a person of strong character.

    The Boy Scouts are blind, deaf, and dumb. Here right in front of them is an example of living your life with honesty. Ryan chose to be who he honestly is with courage and integrity. A person of strong character.

  21. MATHMAJOR says

    @ECHTKULTIG: geeze, how many guys in the boy scouts has your “friend” dated? That many?

    @BOBN: I always thought the ban was on the gay leaders, not the kids themselves?

  22. Diane says

    The Scout Leaders are correct this is not an Eagle Scout project! It has nothing to do with his sexuality. A scout project has to be something of service for the community. the scout leader has to approve the project before he does it and he has to involve other scouts there is nothing correct about this project!
    Are the parents looking for publicity? What a waste of time for the news.

  23. MATHMAJOR says

    Excuse me Diane:

    “Ryan Andresen had recently completed the requirements to earning his Eagle Scout award, including a “tolerance wall” for victims of bullying…”

    And also from the article: “a project that he worked on with school children. It consists of 288 tiles that depict acts of kindness.”

    Are people who are bullied not members of the “community”? Were those kids he worked with not members of the “community”? Actually this had nothing to do with the validity of the project, you just want to use that as a red herring because as it turns out:

    “And late Thursday, the Boy Scouts of America said in a statement that because of Andresen’s sexual orientation and that he did not agree to Scouting’s principle of “Duty to God,” “he is no longer eligible for membership in Scouting.”

    So Diane, you can hide your bigotry against us gays as just him not following the project “guidelines” and blame him. But, as we now know, it was really just because he’s a homosexual. Pathetic.

    BTW, apparently I was wrong earlier about the BSA having problems with the kids being gay as they do discriminate across the board. Sad.

  24. BGKev says

    So who was the scout or scout’s parents who made a stink about the kid and called it to the attention of national? I mean, supposedly the troop leader had told the kid he’d sign off on it. Or has the BSA added a question to the Eagle Scout paperwork that explicitly asks?

  25. oc says

    if the bsa only knew how many gay eagle scouts are in their ranks, in the
    wings, and how many lives of young gay men they positively affected…

  26. Diogenes Arktos says

    While I prefer to be vague about my location, I note with pride that a major philanthropic organization in my city recently denied their usual funding to BSA precisely because of its stance on LGBT people.

  27. says

    it’s the same brand of nonsense that follows anti-gay bigotry in all facets of life – it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve accomplished – you’re gay so you dont’ count.

    served your country? sorry, you’re gay. you’re lesser than Jimminy Bob Joe who didnt’ serve his country, but got three women pregnant.

    were an exemplary eagle scout? sorry – you’re allowed to be a mediocre one as long as you’re straight. gay? all your good is negated.

    puke.

  28. OUTinMN says

    (Sarcasm Alert)
    Maybe the BSA should begin issuing an equivelent award to gay scouts. That way the rank of Eagle Scout can remain sanctified.

    Here you go, Ryan. You’re a “Civil Accipitridae”. See? Equal – just separate. Be sure to put it on your resumé.

  29. Jerry6 says

    Just to remind many of these commenters: Mr Romney’s Mormon Church is one of the anti Gay organizations that have taken over “Sponsoring” many Boy Scout Troops. As all members in good standing of the Mormon Church are required to give 10% of their income each year to the Church, Mr Romney is a supporter of the Church’s banning of Gay Scouts. Do we REALLY want a Bigot as President of The United States? I know that I do not.

  30. Bill says

    Regarding Reggie777’s comment, “Sad as it is, the BSA will not change because they get major $upport and recruit$ from the Mormon and Catholic churches,” that suggests a tactic. Let it be known that this sort of behavior on the part of Mormon supported organizations is one of the reasons we will not vote for a Mormon for president under any circumstances – the last thing we need is a president who wants to turn the U.S. into a theocracy. The Mormons’ “prophet” had a “revelation” that Blacks could have full status in their church once anyone engaging in racial discrimination became a pariah. If they are denied something they really want, they’ll have another “revelation”.

    While the BSA policy may stink, the least they could do is to make the kid an eagle scout as he fulfilled the requirements, and then kick him out for being gay. Not even letting him get the award he clearly earned goes beyond religious differences – it is simply mean, and he apparently fulfilled the requirements before they knew he was gay. Adults picking on a 17 year old goes well beyond acceptable behavior, and the BSA needs to learn that there will be consequences if they engage in such behavior. It may be legal, but so is being an obnoxious drunk, and nobody is required to associate in any way with such people.

  31. Bill says

    Regarding Reggie777’s comment, “Sad as it is, the BSA will not change because they get major $upport and recruit$ from the Mormon and Catholic churches,” that suggests a tactic. Let it be known that this sort of behavior on the part of Mormon supported organizations is one of the reasons we will not vote for a Mormon for president under any circumstances – the last thing we need is a president who wants to turn the U.S. into a theocracy. The Mormons’ “prophet” had a “revelation” that Blacks could have full status in their church once anyone engaging in racial discrimination became a pariah. If they are denied something they really want, they’ll have another “revelation”.

    While the BSA policy may stink, the least they could do is to make the kid an eagle scout as he fulfilled the requirements, and then kick him out for being gay. Not even letting him get the award he clearly earned goes beyond religious differences – it is simply mean, and he apparently fulfilled the requirements before they knew he was gay. Adults picking on a 17 year old goes well beyond acceptable behavior, and the BSA needs to learn that there will be consequences if they engage in such behavior. It may be legal, but so is being an obnoxious drunk, and nobody is required to associate in any way with such people.

  32. nycthink says

    I truly feel bad for the guy, but to put this into perspective, this happened to me in the far away year of 1969,not that I made an announcement, but I was vocal in my opposition to the Vietnam war, and it was said I was “different” and a “bad influence” on the other boys, “threatening their male image”! Seemed the other way around to me, when the scouts tied me to a tree threw rocks and yelled “fag”. We were poor, lived in a housing project and I wore hand me down clothes. That was enough.

    The next day my mom got the call that I was’nt “tough enough” for the boy scouts, I just remembered the boy scout oath and what a complete lie of hypocrisy it was, ” a scout is thrifty, brave,loyal, obidient and kind”, what “kind” exactly I am not sure, maybe the Paul Ryan kind, the hate your neighbor kind.

    It’s not like the BSA has moved one inch from their position of hatred of difference in the last 40 years or so. The expectations of people these days has changed, that somehow “coming out” will change other people and their attitudes when those attitudes are as hard as a peach pit.

    This type of public “shaming” attempt, that only impacts those who are already sympathetic, has limited impact.

    It’s time for the “alternate scouts”, if you will, composed of parents and young people who really want to impact the world not by achieving status by winning badges and awards (love those bsa badges and sashes), but by using real *actions* that demonstrate to people that love and tolerance works, and instead of pleading for respect, people will begin to see the difference between honest striving and phoney posturing.

    How? By the oldest recommendation in human history, “service to others”.It is recommended in Western and Eastern tradition philosophy and letters and the best way to develop compassion, understanding and self knowledge.

    Let the alternate scouts help to visit elderly LGBT and other seniors lingering in the waiting rooms of nursing homes waiting for death, let the alternate scouts help the visible environment by cleaning this countries filthy littered streets and highways, let the alternate scouts use the power of the internet to counter negative comments about younger LGBT people on social media, and finally, and most importantly, let the alternate scouts help to lower the number of LGBT suicides by providing a virtual community of support for other youths questioning or in crisis about identity issues or experiencing bullying events.

    Hard, difficult, nearly impossible ? Of course, but if correctly done, supervised by the number of great men and women thrown out of the BSA simply for LGBT association, it provides the opportunity to lead by example and stop begging for acceptance, and replaces it with self reliance and “moral” imperitive that exposes a lot of these antigay windbags for what they are, preachers of hate who have nothing going for them but more of the same.

  33. says

    The real battle against the Boy Scouts of America should be to get them to stop taking public funds, eliminate the congressional charter, and get the current President to stop taking the honorary title as head of the B.S.A.

    Supposed libertarian Ron Paul sponsored and voted for legislation to get the U.S. mint to issue special commemorative coins for the Boy Scouts of America–at taxpayers’ expense.

    The BSA has every right to exist and set its own standards of membership, just like the KKK and the Nazi party. But the KKK and the National Socialists are much more honorable: They don’t expect taxpayers to pay for them. They don’t expect to get special access to U.S. military bases for their meetings. They don’t expect commemorative coins at the taxpayers expense.

  34. Oz in OK says

    As of now, there’s over 285,000 signatures to this petition. Amazing!

    If you go to change.org and read the comments, many of the signers are former scouts themselves who are just as appalled at this callous ‘oh you’re exemplary in every way but being gay gets you kicked out’ attitude as we are.

    This situation reminds me too much of DADT – you can be a 4.0 student, receive citizenship/meritorious conduct awards, be a role-model for the community, and get kicked out if you happen to be gay – or you can be a 2.8 student, with *no* citizenship awards, and barely ‘scraping by’ following the rules, but you’re welcomed… because you’re straight.

    Ridiculous.

  35. Caliban says

    “I always thought the ban was on the gay leaders, not the kids themselves?”

    Oh h*ll no, and that’s something I’ve tried getting across to people for YEARS!

    The lesbian den mother or the discussion of potential gay male Scoutmasters is actually a DISTRACTION from the REAL issue, that the BSA is prejudiced against gay kids. We’ve let the discussion be highjacked so that’s what it SEEMS to be about, but really isn’t. You get distracted into all that and suddenly you’re wading into discussions of child molestation and parental fears of that and people tune it all out. You have to keep their attention on the REAL issue, prejudice against young people who have done NOTHING wrong, have followed every BSA rule and have even excelled.

    Right there in this article it says that Ryan joined when he was SEVEN years old, as a Cub Scout. That’s not an unusual age to get involved, about the same age I became a Cub Scout. Who knows what their eventual sexuality will be when they are 7 years old? No one or very few. The issue is NOT about “letting gays INTO” the Boy Scouts! There are already gays in the Boy Scouts, young men like Ryan who joined when they were children. The REAL issue is about kicking boys like Ryan OUT of the Boy Scouts!

    They were “good enough” to be members at 7 years old and probably for many years after that, but suddenly they’re not good enough any more. What did they do wrong? Nothing. They just acknowledged that they are gay. That’s all. And kicking them out is wrong.

    Anything other than that is just a distraction.

  36. Diogenes Arktos says

    @Jerry6: Romney has distanced himself from the LDS’s official position and supports the inclusion of gays. I suspect he’s being political.

    @NYCThink: There is already at least one such group.

  37. Richard says

    It used to be called buggery and was punishable by death in England. What is the use of the boy scouts if fail to follow their own rules, I hope he can read as it is plainly writen.