Boy Scouts sticking to their anti-gay guns

Yahoo has the story, and a photo:

A longtime Boy Scout claims he's being denied the organization's highest honor because he's gay.

Ryan Andresen, who lives near San Francisco, recently finished an extensive service project needed to earn his Eagle Scout award, but his troop leader refuses to give him the rank.

"He said he can't because Ryan said he is gay," said Karen Andresen, the scout's mother.

The Scouts national spokesman offered the following explanation:

"Recently, a Scout proactively 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," Smith wrote in a statement to Yahoo News. "While the BSA did not proactively ask for this information, based on his statements and after discussion with his family he is being informed that he is no longer eligible for membership in Scouting."

Ironically, Andersen's service project dealt with anti-bullying efforts.

Think Progress offers some commentary.

Comments (7)

"Boy Scouts sticking to their anti-gay guns"

Guns, baseball bats, discriminatory laws, bigoted attitudes: whatever works, eh BSA?

Kyrie eleison.

JC Fisher

Boy Scouts OUT of Episcopal property! No support for hate!

Sigh! JC this is one of those rare occasions when I am going to disagree with you. THE BOY SCOUTS is diffferent than A BOY SCOUT. And in an Episcopal Church--not just this Sunday but for many Sundays for many years.

I think growing up and being welcome in an evironment that teaches acceptance puts these young men in a place to better combat the bigotry.

His parents are great people and many of us signed up this morning to buy some goodies. My name was about two-thirds of the way down the list and I didn't see any names on the list above mine that I would label "bigot."

<irony> How nice to see that the Boy Scouts of America have decided that being honest about one's sexual orientation amounts to denying one's "Duty to God."</irony> Who decided that these folks should define our religious beliefs for us? By their logic it would seem that anyone who simply believes that being gay is not a sin is not worthy to be a Boy Scout.

We've got to stop supporting institutions that do not reflect our values, even when to do so is painful or disappointing. We may not be able to change them, but we can change ourselves. Nobody said having principles would come without a cost.

Maybe I'm just too dense, but I don't have the foggiest notion of what you're trying to say in response to me, Bonnie.

All kinds of (seemingly) perfectly wonderful people RATIONALIZE their participation w/ institutional evil.

I'm suggesting that Episcopal Church, instutionally (and Episcopalians, individually) not be among them.

This isn't to deny all the good that the BSA have ever done.

It's just to say that NOW WE KNOW the price of suffering (born by LGBTs, esp LGBT youth) is TOO HIGH.

We resist institutional evil like the CURRENT incarnation of the BSA, in order to persuade them to metanoia: keeping the good of shaping young men's lives, WITHOUT the homophobic bigotry.

JC Fisher

Seems to me the point of this is that Ryan had COMPLETED the service needed to receive his Eagle Scout rank.

It also seems possible/probable that the Scout may not have known he was gay until recently...that knowledge comes to us all (yes I'm gay) at different times.

I'm also worried about what Cubs and Boy Scouts are learning about LGBT people in Scouting, if this is an example being set before them.

Lan Green

JCF--I think we have a better chance of informing young, impressionable minds if they are inside our walls.

The article doesn't say what the religious affiliation, if any, is of the "Nearly 300 Eagle Scouts have returned their medals in protest." I'd like to think some of them are members of the Episcopal Church. And even if they aren't I certainly stand in solidarity with their protest.

My experience, although limited, with the Boy Scouts (and Girl Scouts)* in Episcopal Churches has been that their parents are also members of our church and can be a strong influence in teaching their children to respect the dignity of every human being.

I hear what you are saying about the bigotry of THE Boy Scouts organization but I think we have some chance of helping to change that. So, not for kicking them out of the Episcopal Church.

Also, I am to the left of whatever the left of left-brained is. So, sorry for not explaining how I arrived at what I was trying to express in the first post.

*Both of my daughters were Girl Scouts and their troop leader was a Piskie.

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