GLAAD is blasting the Boy Scouts for rejecting a gay scout's application for Eagle scout one day after it was reported that a local board had unanimously approved the honor and forwarded it on to the national organization in defiance of the BSA's ban.
John Fenoglio, Scout executive for the Mount Diablo-Silverado Boy Scout Council, said the Eagle rank application from Ryan Andresen of Moraga, California, wasn't approved because of "membership standards," specifically "duty to God, avowed homosexuality, and the fact that he is now over 18 years of age."
Contrary to some media accounts, Andresen's application wasn't approved by the local council in Contra Costa County, nor was it submitted to the Boy Scouts' national office, Fenoglio told CNN.
GLAAD is now saying that the national BSA came down hard on the local group, strong-arming it to reject Andresen's request, despite the fact that he has earned it:
According to Eagle Scout and Scouts for Equality founder Zach Wahls, the volunteer Eagle Board of Review traditionally has authority over Eagle applications, and, if approved, a Scout leaves that meeting with an understanding that he is an Eagle Scout. In Ryan's case, the board chair took an additional step, and received verbal confirmation from Scout Executive, John Fenoglio, that he would approve Ryan's application.
But Ryan's victory was short-lived, as Fenoglio, a paid employee of the BSA, reversed course and rejected the board's unanimously approved application — an unprecedented action. Local Scout volunteers speculate that Fenoglio's decision was heavily influenced by BSA national.
"It's an unprecedented move," says Wahls. "It's clear that Fenoglio's reversal was forced by BSA national. He's a paid employee, and unfortunately, National exerts a lot of influence over their staff. His reversal, however, is most disappointing."
The Andresen family is devastated, but what hurts them more is that BSA national would rather soil the official Eagle application process and pit local paid staff against volunteer leaders, than allow a gay Boy Scout to be awarded an honor he's earned.
This marks the second time Ryan has been rejected by Scouting leaders he looks up to — just because he's gay. To make matters worse, BSA Executives – the unelected, paid brass helming an organization that touts the principles of honesty and integrity — continue to malign Ryan in the national media.