It turns out you can be gay and many things, including a U.S. senator, but not an Eagle Scout.
The Boy Scouts of America recently denied Ryan Andresen the Eagle Award he’d earned because he’s gay, sparking an online petition and California campaign to reverse the action.
Karen Andresen, Ryan’s mother, started a petition on Change.org that has garnered more than 400,000 signatures and the support of a few heavyweights. U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and 32 state legislators have signed a letter urging the Scouts to grant the award. The letter was started by state Sen. Leland Yee.
Newsom, who was a Webelos Scout and was among the first political leaders to support marriage equality as the former mayor of San Francisco, wrote in a letter to the Scouts, “In defending this hurtful and discriminatory policy barring gay youth and leaders, the Boy Scouts of America are simply standing on the wrong side of history. And in doing so, the Boy Scouts are hurting the very people that you aim to serve: the young men who participate in your programs.”
And the organization may be hurting itself.
UPS, the mail delivery service, announced this week it will no longer fund organizations that discriminate, including the Boy Scouts of America. Last month, Intel made a similar announcement.
For information: www.change.org/ryanseagle