Back in the fall, Ryan Andresen completed all of the requirements for his Eagle Scout award. He earned all the merit badges, made his way through the ranks, and completed his service project, a tolerance wall at a local school. But when he attempted to receive the award – an award he’d earned, thoroughly – the Irving-based Boy Scouts of America refused, claiming “membership standards” weren’t met by Andresen. The reason? He’s gay.
TheÂ Mount Diablo-Silverado Boy Scout Council in California reiterated that decision to CNN yesterday, stating that Andresen’s faults were “duty to God, avowed homosexuality, and the fact that he is now over 18 years of age.” First off: the last one’s crap. I received my Eagle Scout award seven months after my 18th birthday, but because I had completed all the requirements before my 18th birthday, it was cool. The council threw that one in to have a safety net when people like me – mostly people without Eagle Scout awards — came to criticize. Rightfully.
I’ve written about my Boy Scout experience on here before, and it’s an experience that’s guided my entire life. I was taught to be, among other things, trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly,Â courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, andÂ reverent. Virtually none of the tenets the Boy Scouts of America embedded within me and millions of other young men are being upheld and honored in this case. The Boy Scouts of AmericaÂ shouldÂ be an inclusive group, a united front that does good for the world and community. Instead it’s become a group of cowards, bigots, and backwater traditionalists hellbent on preserving a way of life that harms the young men it claims to aid.
Andresen is a man who’s done everything right except, apparently, loving the wrong gender.