A boy scout in Moraga, California is claiming that he is being denied rank as an Eagle Scout because he is a homosexual.
In July of this year, 17-year-old Ryan Andreson wrote a letter to his troop leader, expressing that he was being teased by others at his school for being homosexual, and asked for assistance. It was reportedly the first time that he had notified his troop that he was involved in homosexuality.
However, the Boy Scouts of America contends that the letter also contained information noting that Andreson disagreed with the organization’s Christian faith.
“This 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,” said Deron Smith, spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America, in a written statement. “Agreeing to do one’s ‘duty to God’ is a part of the scout Oath and Law and a requirement of achieving the Eagle Scout rank.”
Andreson asserts that he believes in “a higher power,” and that faith was not a part of the decision to deny his ranking.
Not being aware that he would be refused, he constructed an “anti-bullying tolerance wall” at a local middle school for his final project to earn the Eagle Scout ranking, which contained a mosaic of 288 ceramic tiles that listed various acts of kindness.
However, Andreson said that he was later notified through his father that the troop would not give him the ranking because of his sexuality. Andreson’s father, who had joined the troop as chief administrator, immediately resigned.
Smith said that conversations with the family led the organization to the conclusion that Andreson is “no longer eligible for membership in scouting.”
As previously reported, this past July, the Boy Scouts of America unanimously reaffirmed its policy to disallow leadership and membership to open homosexuals, remarking that it was “the best policy” for the organization.
“The committee’s work and conclusion is that this policy reflects the beliefs and perspectives of the BSA’s members, thereby allowing Scouting to remain focused on its mission and the work it is doing to serve more youth,” it said in a written statement.
However, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, who serves on the executive board of the organization, is vowing to overturn the ban on open homosexuality. He is poised to become president of the Boy Scouts of America in 2014.