CA Boy Scouts Defy Ban, Approve Eagle Badge For Gay Scout

glaad boy scoutsThe Boy Scouts in Mount Diablo, California should get a merit badge in integrity: Ignoring the Boy Scouts of America’s national ban on gay members and leaders, the group approved gay scout Ryan Andresen’s Eagle badge application.

After coming out last year, Andresen, 18, was denied his Eagle badge. His mom, Karen, Andresen, started a petition that garnered more than 450,000 signatures.

On December 19, local Boy Scout leaders granted Ryan an official Eagle Board of Review and the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council approved his application for the rank of Eagle Scout.

“I want other gay Scouts to know, especially those who are hiding who they really are, that this win is for you,” Ryan said.

Ryan’s application now goes to the national organization for final approval. Odds are they’ll reject it, but Ryan’s mom is proud of what he’ accomplished nonetheless:

“I’m just so incredibly happy for Ryan. He’s worked so hard for this honor, and as a mother, it means the world to me to know that our local Scouting community believes in him, too. Regardless of what the Boy Scouts of America decide to do with his application, this victory makes it all worth it, and gives me so much hope for the future of the organization.”