Rob Breymaier, an Eagle Scout, father, and executive director of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center outside of Chicago, is the latest Eagle Scout to return his badge to the Boy Scouts over its anti-gay policies, the Chicago Tribune reports:
"I could always explain away that it was an old policy and that sooner or later, we'll be able to force a vote on the issue," Breymaier said. "But when this vote happened and they reaffirmed the policy, it was just too much. It was infuriating, embarrassing and upsetting."
Breymaier, who put his medal in the mail Friday, said he spent 10 years as a Scout in his native Toledo, Ohio, and another 10 years as an adult leader of the same troop. As a leader, he said he never enforced the anti-gay policy, but it was difficult to do more than quietly flout the rule in his own group.
"It was a family, and it was hard to pull away from it," Breymaier said. "I was fully aware that it was wrong, but speaking out against that could have gotten you kicked out."
Earlier this month, I posted a letter and photo from another Eagle Scout returning his badge. The organization says it has received a number of them:
Deron Smith, spokesman for Boy Scouts of America, said five Eagle Scouts had returned their medals in protest of the policy as of Friday. He reiterated the group's position that the majority of members agree with the ban.
"Scouting represents millions of youth and adult members in diverse communities across the nation, each with a variety of beliefs," Smith said. "Although we are disappointed to learn of anyone who feels compelled to return his Eagle rank, we fully understand and appreciate that not everyone will agree with any one position or policy."