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Gay teen’s hopes for Eagle Scout rank denied again, despite support

Application denied over 'membership standards,' specifically 'duty to God, avowed homosexuality'
Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A California gay teen — who spent more than 10 years working toward become an Eagle Scout — has had his hopes dashed once again in his quest to attain Scouting’s highest honor.

The Mount Diablo-Silverado Boy Scout Council in Pleasant Hill, Calif., said it would not forward Ryan Andresen’s application for Eagle Scout on to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), despite the recommendation of a volunteer review board that voted unanimously on Dec. 31 to support the previously denied application.

Ryan Andresen
Image via NBC News

John Fenoglio, a council executive, said Ryan’s application was not approved because of “membership standards,” specifically “duty to God, avowed homosexuality, and the fact that he is now over 18 years of age.”

Andresen, an openly gay former Scout from Moraga, Calif., was denied the Eagle Scout rank in October 2012 when he was 17-years-old after his Scoutmaster declined to approve his application because of his sexual orientation.

The Boy Scout policy does “not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA,” the group’s website says.

Bonnie Hazarabedian, who chaired the Boy Scout district review board, told Reuters that the BSA anti-gay policy is “something out of the Dark Ages,” and said that Ryan’s sexual orientation was not relevant to whether he should get the award.

Ryan, 18, joined Scouting at the age of 6, and in 2012 completed the final requirements to earn his Eagle Award.

His final final project was the construction of a “tolerance wall” for victims of bullying, which was inspired by the years of hazing he endured in middle school, and later at Boy Scout summer camp, where his nicknames were “Tinkerbell” and “faggot.”

Ryan’s parents have pledged to continue to press their son’s campaign to obtain his Eagle Scout rank.

AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson, an executive board member of the Boy Scouts of America, has said he was committed to ending the ban — he takes over as president of the BSA in 2014.

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27 more reader comments:

  1. Go elsewhere kid…why support this organization and its bigotry…We gays deserve better.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 2:50pm
  2. Damn shame.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 2:52pm
  3. Because, Barry, change must start somewhere. You have to be the change you want to see.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 2:53pm
  4. Nick…I just do not want to spend my money at these places…let them suffer when nobody wants to join because they are so bigoted…I think we gay people should start our own organization and make it worldly and inclusive. I personally go elsewhere and spend my money with gay businesses and organizations…but I see your point.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 2:56pm
  5. I’m confused. What does being gay have to do with being an Eagle Scout?

    Shame on the Boy Scouts!! Let’s keep fighting!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 2:56pm
  6. It’s easy to take a hateful attitude, but Nick is right- we all know change will not happen overnight. If we only tried to fight for gay marriage, or anything else, once– if we kept trying to ‘go elsewhere’ we would run out of home ground fast…

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 2:56pm
  7. I thought I heard on the news that this kid got eagle scout…guess that was another gay boy scout in california…

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 2:56pm
  8. I will never support that organization again. I am so ashamed of your group.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 2:57pm
  9. BSA…Bigots

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 2:58pm
  10. I earned the Gold Award for Girl Scouts which equivalent to the Eagle Scout and I know how much of an honor it is…I couldn’t imagine having it taken away from me!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 3:00pm
  11. This is why my son is not joining . I have taught him not to hate and discriminate.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 3:01pm
  12. keep fighting Ryan – you deserve that honor.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 3:02pm
  13. I thought Ryan received his award yesterday? I saw an article yesterday where he was at a podium getting his medal and being pinned. Are you saying that they gave him the thing and now want it back after approving the rejection and then re rejecting it? Bullshit… that really fucking pisses me off! I hope he finds a way to make this really public!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 3:04pm
  14. I agree with Mickey,i will never support that organization ever again.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 3:05pm
  15. They’re too busy trying to hide their past to get with the program: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/sep/16/local/la-me-boy-scouts-files-20120916

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 3:08pm
  16. No more popcorn for me! I will even tell them why I am not buying at the door.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 3:10pm
  17. Shame on Scouting.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 3:14pm
  18. I like Alice Sutton, way of thinking. The Boy Scouts have a long history of hate, bigotry and anti-gay policy’s, yet they have time and time again supported straight scout masters who are in secret, child molesters. We are talking Police, Pastors and Boy Scout Masters. There is literally a so called perversion file with over 15,000 cases of child molestation quietly covered up by the Boy Scout Organization. Here is just one article in Reuters. There are hundreds of reports out there. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/18/us-usa-boyscouts-abuse-idUSBRE89H0ZF20121018

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 3:39pm
  19. You have to wonder why the media has not hounded the boy scouts. Could it be payoff? Would not surprise me.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 3:41pm
  20. Fuck organizations like that. They don’t deserve our grace neways.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 3:47pm
  21. Bigotry is not dead!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 3:52pm
  22. Isn’t this kind of crap a “distraction” to the mission of the BSA? Give the young man his Eagle Scout rank, already and get over the bigoted bs. What a crock!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 4:05pm
  23. Soooo wrong…hate bsa…

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 6:27pm
  24. Soooo wrong…hate bsa…

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 6:27pm
  25. This totally sucks.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 6:47pm
  26. Please remember that United Way supports them a well. If you give money to them and you don’t want it to go to the BSA you must ear mark it for a specific organization

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 6:55pm
  27. I would never support the united way anyways. the majority of your donation goes to their operating costs.. less then 20% actually go to any single charity.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 7:55pm