Identical twin brothers August and Liam Easton-Calabriaand have spent their lives in the Boy Scouts, but now that they are eighteen years old, only one of them will be allowed to participate in the Scouts.
That’s because Liam happens to be gay, and while the organization has budged in recent years to allow openly gay scouts, their ban on gay adults seems all but iron clad.
Now August has launched a Change.org petition “to demonstrate support for dropping the antigay ban.”
“In the eyes of the BSA, I am worthy to share Scouting with my children, but he is not,” August writes. “This heartbreaking consequence for Liam, me, and our parents goes against all I learned in Scouting.”
August and Liam have both reached Eagle Scout, the highest rank available, and while many Eagle Scouts go on to participate as leaders, it’s the end of the road for Liam until the Scouts evolve.
“Liam took on the responsibility of Patrol Leader at age 14,” adds August. “After two years, the Scouts in our Troop elected Liam as their Senior Patrol Leader. He earned the admiration and loyalty of our fellow Scouts because of his integrity. The fact that Liam is gay did not affect his relationship with anyone. It has nothing to do with the content of his character.”
Many scouts and former scouts have added words of support in the comments section of the petition.
“I am an eagle scout and I believe that a persons sexual orientation has no effect on their leadership abilities,” said Michael Murphy from Yucaipa, CA.
Bill Houston from Yellow Springs, OH became an Eagle Scout 71 years ago in 1944 said, “I think it’s important to remove all vestiges of homophobia in the scouting movement.”