Boy Scouts | News | Ryan Andresen

Florida Eagle Scout to Give Badge to Boy Scout Denied One for Being Gay: VIDEO


Dr. Andy Zerbinopoulos of Jacksonville, Florida thinks it's not fair that Ryan Andresen, the Boy Scout who earned an Eagle Scout badge but was denied it by the BSA because he's gay, can't have one.

So Zerbinopoulos says he's sending Andresen the one he earned 16 years ago.

"I'm not ashamed of who I am, he shouldn't be ashamed of who he is. And even though it isn't the same as receiving the award that he earned, I want him to know that there are people out there who support him."


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  1. Yes -- what a great guy!

    Posted by: kit | Oct 12, 2012 7:31:51 PM

  2. What a great guy!

    Posted by: Thomas | Oct 12, 2012 7:34:56 PM

  3. That made me verklempt. Sometimes, the smallest of gestures end up being the biggest.

    Posted by: AngelaChanning | Oct 12, 2012 7:59:44 PM

  4. BSA: Take note. This is honorable...something the BSA lacks.

    Posted by: BETTY | Oct 12, 2012 8:08:29 PM

  5. Plus he's hot. BONUS! :D

    Posted by: jj | Oct 12, 2012 8:09:14 PM

  6. This man is a saint.

    Posted by: Max | Oct 12, 2012 8:13:44 PM

  7. ...i know you folks in the states get a bit uptight about religion...but it's time to start saying what it is. the mormon and catholic church control the bsa organization. you need to be making that plain and clear...see how long they can take the heat. meanwhile...this guy is the kind of hero i admire.

    Posted by: stan | Oct 12, 2012 8:25:38 PM

  8. No, Andy Zerbinopoulos is not a saint. He's an Eagle Scout. I sent mine to Ryan yesterday, along with the Eagle necklace for his mom. Scouting taught us all about character and honor. I've thought about returning mine to the BSA, but it meant more to me than it did to them. It's a delight share and it did not require any deep thought. My hunch is, Ryan will have an entire flock of Eagles before too long.

    Posted by: Deke | Oct 12, 2012 8:48:24 PM

  9. Quite a few others have also sent their pins. Watch the Ellen clip.
    Besides. All dentists are secret sadists, look it up, its true.

    Posted by: I wont grow up | Oct 12, 2012 9:00:22 PM

  10. Bles you guys that are sending your pins and the necklace. You are the true definition of Eagle Scouts. I hope someday the BSA will realize its error, but until that far off day, you guys are the real thing.

    Posted by: John | Oct 12, 2012 9:57:53 PM

  11. Hundreds have been returning their badges since Jennifer Tyrell was discriminated against and the BSA reaffirmed their homophobic position. It's so awesome to see people, gay and straight, taking such a stand, especially for vulnerable, discriminated-against teens such as Ryan, and it's reassuring because it shows more and more people will not allow homo-hatred slide without speaking. Dr. Andy's act will not be forgotten; thank you Doctor.

    Posted by: Francis | Oct 12, 2012 10:45:51 PM

  12. sad that the boy scouts are still so ass backwards about this- at least the girl scouts got their heads out of their asses

    Posted by: MaddM@ | Oct 12, 2012 11:16:41 PM

  13. Look at the anti-marriage groups in the States where marriage is on the ballot, Prop 8, etc.
    --- and they have had way too much success at it

    Posted by: Bob | Oct 13, 2012 4:22:28 AM

  14. I feel good now.

    Posted by: Jacques Rosas | Oct 13, 2012 9:35:52 AM

  15. The pity of it is, as Ryan Andresen affirmed, that scouting offers kids wonderful opportunities. My dad, also an Eagle scout, was the first scoutmaster to let black kids into an all white troop. Doing so posed as little a moral dilemma for him, as sharing my Eagle with Ryan posed for me. It is what decent people do. The BSA took a wrong turn when the LDS adaopted scouting as its youth program and took over the Board in the 1990s. They eliminated religious awards from religious groups who were accepting of gay people.

    Posted by: Deke | Oct 13, 2012 2:39:58 PM

  16. That's what being a Boy Scout is about. I say, take away any medals or recognition that the Boy Scout council/board/organization has for being dip-sh*ts and ruining if not destroying the Boy Scout brand.

    Posted by: woodroad34d | Oct 13, 2012 8:39:20 PM

  17. Perhaps Andy Towle will research the above claim that the Mormons "own" the BSA Board of Directors

    Posted by: mike flower | Oct 14, 2012 4:15:36 AM

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