17-yer-old Ryan Andresen joined the Boy Scouts when he was 6 and had just completed his final requirement to earn his Eagle Scout award (ironically, a “tolerance wall” for victims of bullying, like himself) only to learn that he was disqualified because he had recently come out as gay.
Andresen’s Scoutmaster for Troop 212 in Moraga, CA, refused to sign off on his Eagle Scout award, the Boy Scout’s highest ranking. And late Thursday, the Boy Scouts of America said in a statement that due to Andresen’s sexual orientation and his refusal to agree to their principle of “Duty to God,” he’s no longer eligible for membership.
“I want everyone to know that [the Eagle award] should be based on accomplishment, not your sexual orientation. Ryan entered Scouts when he was 6-years-old and in no way knew what he was,” Ryan’s mother, Karen Andresen, told NBC News. “I think right now the Scoutmaster is sending Ryan the message that he’s not a valued human being and I want Ryan to know that he is valued … and that people care about him.”
Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boys Scouts, said in a statement that Andresen recently “notified his unit leadership and Eagle Scout Counselor that he does not agree to Scouting’s principle of ‘Duty to God’ and does not meet Scouting’s membership standard on sexual orientation. While the BSA did not proactively ask for this information, based on his statements and after discussion with his family he is being informed that he is no longer eligible for membership in Scouting.”
The Boy Scouts of America have come under fire for its ban on gay members and leaders, which it reaffirmed in July, leading dozens of Eagle Scouts to return their medals. Last month, tech giant Intel, one of the Scout’s biggest donors, announced that it would no longer donate to the organization, or any organization that didn’t adhere to its anti-discrimination policy. Additionally, both President Obama and Mitt Romney voiced opposition to the Scouts’ gay ban.
Though the Boy Scouts of America are unlikely to change their discriminatory policies any time soon, Mrs. Andresen has started an online petition calling for her son to receive his award.
“It hurts me so much to watch Ryan suffer for being who he is, because to me, he’s perfect,” Mrs. Andresen wrote. “Ryan has worked for nearly 12 years to become an Eagle Scout, and nothing would make him more proud than earning that well-deserved distinction. I hope that if enough people come together, we can convince my son’s troop leaders to help him feel proud of who he is and all he’s accomplished.”
Please everyone sign the petition. I don’t think it will change the policy but the show of support will be good for the kid and his Mother.
Although the policy is wrong…..let’s face it, you’re in the best ‘Club’ already, so screw the boy scouts! 😉
Listen to Deano, Ryan. You are in the best Club in the world.
Mr. Enemabag Jones
So basically–gay kids, no; adult pedophiles, yes!
Why does he want a medal from a bunch of bigots?
I think then, that Boy Scouts had better start testing their potential members at the age of 6 or whatever, for the “gay gene” so that they don’t waste 11 precious years of a kid’s life, only to tell him that due to factors beyond his choice, he will be ostracised and made into an outcast if he subseuently discovers that he’s gay. Private club or not, these vile bigots need to be stopped from emotional child abuse like this.
It’s making me feel truly ashamed to have been a member.
Odd, since founder Baden Powell would likely have been spotted as the gay pedobear he most likely was. It’s common to see a person protesting too much, but an entire organisation? Surely that’s a first!
Incidentally, we should NOT be signing a petition to demand this boy’s award. That would validate their legitimacy, and make him a special case. We should be signing a petition demanding that the organisation ceases its shameless bullying, prejudice and bigotry.
The largest numbers of scouting packs are in Mormon Wards and Catholic schools.
“Duty to God” – that’s a good one. I hope no one in their organization has gotten divorced or eats cheeseburgers or shellfish. God hates people who do that. And I wonder if those Boy Scout uniforms are woven from more than one fiber. He doesn’t like that, either.
Calling Ellen on line one…put him on your show…
@Cam +1 !! Mormans have a strangle hold on the Boy Scouts in California and they boast about it. That is why young Ryan got ejected.
Rainer Del Valle the scout master that denied Ryan Andresen the award is a Christofascist who has also sent his 18 year old son Andres Del Valle to wingnut Oral Roberts university in Oklahoma. I wonder if Rainer is punishing Ryan because his son was crushing on Ryan and punished his own son by exiling him to Oklahoma to a university whose most famous alumni are Michele Bachmann and Ted Haggard.
Check this shit out from TODAY’s news:
KING 5 (Seattle) Investigators have obtained secret files once locked up inside one of the country’s most trusted youth organizations: the Boy Scouts of America.
Since 1919 the Scouts have been compiling files on Scout leaders-scoutmasters, assistant scoutmasters and other volunteers from across the country-accused of sexually abusing children; many of whom were young scouts in their troops. The files number in the thousands…
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