On my honor, I won’t tell

8 Oct

Ryan Andresen isn’t Eagle Scout material.

He completed all the requirements before turning 18, including building a Tolerance Wall for his old middle school.

And he did something else, that undoes everything else he has done as a Scout: he told when he wasn’t asked.

Ryan, who identifies as gay, “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” (http://blog.sfgate.com/stew/2012/10/05/gay-moraga-boy-scout-denied-eagle-rank/). His openness qualifies him as one of the “open or avowed homosexuals” that the Scouts ban. (Awesome language, right?)

So he lost his membership.

Andresen’s mom has taken this issue to the people, via a petition on change.org that you can read and sign here: http://www.change.org/petitions/boy-scouts-don-t-let-your-anti-gay-policy-deny-my-son-his-eagle-award

And I urge you to consider signing and forwarding this petition to others because it’s not just about Andresen. It’s about all the boys who are in, who will be in and who (if the Scouts weren’t anti-gay) would otherwise join. It’s about the public having the right and responsibility to stand up, even to private organizations that have the right to do things their way. Closed homogeneous groups can tend towards groupthink. And outside voices help to perforate, provide perspective and say the things that can be hard to say from the inside.

Who knows, maybe one day the Boy Scouts will build their own Tolerance Wall.

* Photo of Andresen’s Tolerance Wall (http://www.mercurynews.com/samesexmarriage/ci_21710630/support-gay-moraga-scout-continues-build?source=rss).

One Response to “On my honor, I won’t tell”

  1. sally October 8, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    How do the Boy Scouts sleep at night? Their ignorance, intolerance and bigotry is beyond mortifying… Interestingly, the Girl Scouts seem to have a policy that encourages acceptance and inclusion and they’ve gotten a lot of flak about it. You go, girls!

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