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Boy Scouts Refuse to Give Teen an Eagle Scout Badge Because He's Gay - Would you sign the petition or was badge denial to be expected?

Posted by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 2:56 PM
  • 25 Replies

Boy Scouts Refuse to Give Teen an Eagle Scout Badge Because He's Gay

Posted by Jeanne Sager on October 8, 2012 

Boy ScoutsNeed another sign that the Boy Scouts of America have a serious problem with gays? His name is Ryan Andresen, and he's worked his way all the way up to Eagle Scout over the years, putting in the same kind of effort as every other boy trying to get the Scouts' top rank. Only now the BSA has decided the teenager doesn't actually deserve the coveted badge ... because he's gay.

The whole fiasco has taken the Internet by storm, and Andresen is getting support by the thousands in the form of the angry masses singing a petition put together by his mom, demanding the BSA give in and give him his darn badge. Good for Mom for standing by her son, but I think it's high time we acknowledge the rather large and gray elephant in the room, don't you?

What the heck was a gay kid doing in the Boy Scouts of America in the first place?

It's a group known the world over for being homophobic, and they're not closeted about it. Just this past summer we were treated to an official announcement from the powers-that-be at the private organization that they will continue to discriminate against LGBT kids and adults who would like to volunteer. It's sad, but as the courts have reminded us again and again, as a privately-funded organization with religious roots, the Boy Scouts can get away with it.

Which means they can tell Ryan Andresen where to stick it, and no amount of petitions from his mom can change their minds.

So I ask again: why did Karen Andresen continue to push her gay son through the ranks of a homophobic organization? From the sounds of it, she's a supportive mom who understands that her son was born this way. That's a parenting win right there.

But encouraging him to stay with Scouts means she was either telling her son, "Oh honey, don't worry, the rules don't apply to you," or she was setting him up to be screwed by a system that was specifically designed to tell him there's something wrong with him. It probably wasn't intentional on Karen's part, but sadly, either option smacks of poor parenting.

Kids don't need to be molded to meet the requirements of some narrow-minded group like the Boy Scouts. They need true support. And they need to know that there are some places where they can't or shouldn't go, places where you can't suddenly have the rules changed to fit you.

What a kid like Ryan needs is to be guided toward an organization where he can do something positive for the world regardless of his sexual orientation. Kids need to find a place where their efforts are valued not undermined because those are the types of organizations that turn out good citizens. 

The petition to get Ryan his Eagle Scout is well-meant, but it doesn't address the real problem here. We don't need an organization to change its rules for a kid; we need families to value their kids over an organization.

Would you sign the petition for Ryan or do you think the denial of his Eagle Scout was to be expected?

by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 2:56 PM
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Replies (1-10):
jessilin0113
by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 3:30 PM
1 mom liked this
Unless they BSA knew he was gay the whole time, I think mom needs to step down. I disagree with the BSA but their stance is not a secret. I agree with the article. Mom should have directed her son's efforts to a more worthwhile, inclusive institution.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Oct. 8, 2012 at 3:32 PM
1 mom liked this

I would sign the petition. This is one of the things about Boy Scouts that upsets me. I've threatened to pull my son out of scouts more than once for nonsense like this.

cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Oct. 8, 2012 at 3:33 PM
3 moms liked this

If this were an adult seeking a leadership position, I might agree with you. But this is a boy. I think they're being total asshats for refusing him something he earned.

Quoting jessilin0113:

Unless they BSA knew he was gay the whole time, I think mom needs to step down. I disagree with the BSA but their stance is not a secret. I agree with the article. Mom should have directed her son's efforts to a more worthwhile, inclusive institution.



radioheid
by Libertarian on Oct. 8, 2012 at 3:36 PM

 Perhaps he should have joined the Civil Air Patrol, Naval Sea Cadet Corps or another similar organization that isn't anti-gay, but offers a similar program to the Boy Scouts?

No, I wouldn't sign the petition. I do NOT support Boy Scouts, but I also don't support trying to force a private religious-based organization to change its rules.


"Roger that. Over."

R   A   D    I    O    H    E    I    D

jessilin0113
by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 3:37 PM
I do agree with that, it's frustrating that he put in all the work. I was really torn on my answer, lol.


Quoting cjsbmom:

If this were an adult seeking a leadership position, I might agree with you. But this is a boy. I think they're being total asshats for refusing him something he earned.

Quoting jessilin0113:

Unless they BSA knew he was gay the whole time, I think mom needs to step down. I disagree with the BSA but their stance is not a secret. I agree with the article. Mom should have directed her son's efforts to a more worthwhile, inclusive institution.



Posted on CafeMom Mobile
GLWerth
by Gina on Oct. 8, 2012 at 3:38 PM
2 moms liked this

If he's gone all the way through to Eagle scout, then he's been in for a long time...longer than he's had any sexual identity (gay, straight, etc.) he was just a kid.

And isn't one of the things they claim to value honesty? How can they value honesty and then ask their members to lie about their very identity? It doesn't make sense to me.

If it had been me, I'd have directed my son toward an organization that doesn't hate him for being who he is, but who knows? She may have tried.

Quoting jessilin0113:

Unless they BSA knew he was gay the whole time, I think mom needs to step down. I disagree with the BSA but their stance is not a secret. I agree with the article. Mom should have directed her son's efforts to a more worthwhile, inclusive institution.


godsgirl26
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 3:39 PM
No comment.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
deccaf
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Since BSA has made no secret of their stance on the gay community, I think there is nothing the boy or his mom can do.  I fail to see why the boy did this project, knowing the feelings of the leadership in the organization.  BSA is private and does not have to bend to anyone's will.

mem82
by Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 4:12 PM

This. I don't condone the BSA stance on this, but I don't think any private organization should be forced to do anything. I feel bad for the boy being caught up in the politics, especially if his mom was telling him they BSA would bend the rules for him.

Quoting deccaf:

Since BSA has made no secret of their stance on the gay community, I think there is nothing the boy or his mom can do.  I fail to see why the boy did this project, knowing the feelings of the leadership in the organization.  BSA is private and does not have to bend to anyone's will.


Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 6:37 PM
This boy stated that his leader knew he was gay
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