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Eagle Scout renounces rank in protest of Boy Scouts’ anti-gay policy

Monday, June 18, 2012

Naka Nathaniel, a once devoted and proud Eagle Scout, said he is renouncing his rank until the Boy Scouts of America ends its ban on gay scouts and gay and lesbian scout leaders.

MSNBC

Naka Nathaniel

Nathaniel, writing in The Daily Beast on Sunday, said “one of the tropes of Scouting that encourages boys to ascend to the rank is “once an Eagle, always an Eagle,” but that he can no longer be part of an organization “that openly discriminates against people whom it should be openly embracing.”

When I earned my Eagle Scout rank 20 years ago, I was proud of my accomplishment. When my little brother earned his Eagle 13 years later, I traveled halfway round the world to attend his court of honor. I was proud of him and my family. My parents had raised two Eagle Scouts.

Today, I’m ashamed to be an Eagle Scout. I don’t want my son to participate in Scouting.

I would rather my son be gay than be an Eagle Scout.

MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts spoke with Nathaniel on Monday, and reports on the on-going controversy, sparked recently by the Scouts’ ousting of lesbian Scout leader Jennifer Tyrrell.

Tyrrell has launched an online petition at Change.org calling on the Boy Scouts to change its policy that prohibits LGBT people from serving as troop den leaders.

The petition, containing more than 275,000 signatures, was delivered last month to the Boy Scouts at its National Annual Meeting in Florida by Change.org officials and LGBT advocate, author and Eagle Scout, Zach Wahls.

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12 more reader comments:

  1. good for him

    Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 5:21pm
  2. I am an Eagle Scout and would never ever renounce my rank, I do send letters to the BSA in protest.

    Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 5:22pm
  3. ^ I love your username, by the way. Fantastic rebuttal.

    Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 5:22pm
  4. I know two eagle scouts that have been in a committed relationship for more than 20 years.

    Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 5:30pm
  5. Not so sure how I feel about his “I would rather my son be gay than be an Eagle Scout.” comment? Any thoughts?

    Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 5:31pm
  6. “Every president of the United States has supported the work of the Boy Scouts of America since its founding in 1910, and each served as honorary president of the BSA during his term in office.” – scouting.org * I’d love to see president Obama renounce his rank. I’m thinking of starting a facebook campaign to support it.

    Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 5:31pm
  7. Good for him, any group that denounces gay rights in any way is not worth supporting.

    Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 5:37pm
  8. < Member of Boy Scouts 1973-77: Second Class/Tenderfoot. TODAY, there ARE 7 OTHER Scouts from my troop (of around 16 Boys total) whom are OUT, GAY, and PROUD! And NO Scout Master "touched" ANY of us! Wake UP, BSA!!!!!

    Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 5:37pm
  9. The Scouts get no tax-payer monies. That makes it hard to justify government involvement. But I commend him for standing up for what he feels is right. That is real courage & values.

    Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 5:38pm
  10. The BSA do use government buildings at little or no cost. Government buildings are paid for by tax payer money. Therefore, we are forced to fund a group that hates.

    Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 5:43pm
  11. Thank you!

    Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 6:38pm
  12. why does that not surprise me!

    Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 6:45pm