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.
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.