Sen. Boxer, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom Support Ryan Andresen, Scout Denied Eagle Status For Being Gay
Ryan Andresen has some new heavy weights behind his campaign to win the Eagle Scout status that is rightfully his. Andresen has been in the Boy Scouts for twelve years and should be an Eagle Scout, but the tenaciously discriminatory Scouts denied him the award because 17-year old Andresen is openly gay.
Since the story broke, bold-faced names like Ellen DeGeneres and Anderson Cooper have come out for him. And now so have Sen. Barbara Boxer, San Francisco Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and 33 California state lawmakers, including State Senator Leland Yee.
For her part, Senator Boxer wrote a letter to Ryan sharing her support. "Your perseverance to raise awareness against bullying is commendable. I admire your courage to stand up for who you are, as well as the bravery you have demonstrated in the face of intolerance," she wrote.
Newsom took a more direct approach, writing to the Boy Scouts of America, "In defending this hurtful and discriminatory policy barring gay youth and leaders, the Boy Scouts of America are simply standing on the wrong side of history. And in doing so, the Boy Scouts are hurting the very people that you aim to serve: the young men who participate in your programs."
He went on, "Scout leaders who are speaking out against this hurtful policy inspire me. I urge the Mt. Diablo Silverado Council to follow the brave precedent established by other local councils by ending anti-discriminatory practices and approve the Eagle Scout award Ryan so justly deserves."
State Sen. Yee and his colleagues, meanwhile, had this to say to the BSA: "We ask that Ryan Andresen receive the honor that he has rightfully earned. To deny him the title of Eagle Scout denigrates his efforts, and cheapens the title for his fellow Eagles."
"To hold him to a different standard, to say he is unworthy of this honor because of his sexual orientation is as offensive and un-American as it would be to do so because of the color of his skin."