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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?

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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
Replies (11-20):
katzmeow726
by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:47 PM

While  disagree with their stance, and find it discriminatory, they are in the right as far as the rule goes.  It is not a secret that homosexuality is not welcome in BSA. 

The rule, as bad as it is, is known and typically enforced. As much as this pains me to say this, I probably won't sign.  Like I said,  I do NOT support the rule, but the kid knew going in that they take a stand against gays, and decided to pursue his award anyway.  I feel for him, and respect all the work he put in, but it is what it is. 

katzmeow726
by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:49 PM

Hey you're here!  Nice to see you out of HS moms :-D

Quoting mem82:

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.



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Bookwormy
by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:59 PM
My understanding has been until this issue came up that BSA stance was that tjey didn't allow gay BSA leaders/volunteers but *did not* discriminate against gay boy scouts. If they have stated that in the past, then they need to give him his badge. If they knew he was gay, & let him sell their popcorn, & take part in all other aspects of BSA, then he's good enough for their badge! If they knew he was gay & didn't approve, they should have kicked him out long ago. You don't wait to discriminate until you break the kid's heart. That's worse than kicking him out earlier.
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kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:07 PM

I already signed the petition on change.org.

mem82
by Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:15 PM

LOL Everyonce in a while, I poke my head out of my regular groups to see what's happening in great, big CafeMom world. 8) Thanks for the warm welcome.

Quoting katzmeow726:

Hey you're here!  Nice to see you out of HS moms :-D

Quoting mem82:

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.




Bookwormy
by Platinum Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 12:06 AM
I was wrong. I researched. They came out with a new statement in Sept 2012 that they still will not welcome out members, etc. So, why wait till he's going for his Eagle Badge? Unless he came out at the last moment, they should have kicked him out as soon as he came out.

He should have joined a supportive organization. This is why we should all boycott BSA, in terms of membership, popcorn purchases, etc. As long as people support BSA instead of Campfire, Spiral Scouts, etc, they will continue their bigotry. Signing won't matter. Only financially crippling them will. Any conservative will tell you that a pile of signatures goes in the bit bucket; we need to hurt them where it counts in a capitalist society- in the pocketbook! We need to quit thinking like liberals! We need to think like R squared & squash BSA like the bugs that they are!


Quoting Bookwormy:

My understanding has been until this issue came up that BSA stance was that tjey didn't allow gay BSA leaders/volunteers but *did not* discriminate against gay boy scouts. If they have stated that in the past, then they need to give him his badge. If they knew he was gay, & let him sell their popcorn, & take part in all other aspects of BSA, then he's good enough for their badge! If they knew he was gay & didn't approve, they should have kicked him out long ago. You don't wait to discriminate until you break the kid's heart. That's worse than kicking him out earlier.

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lga1965
by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 12:14 AM
3 moms liked this

 He must have received other badges in the past---many of them come before the Eagle Scout badge. WHat made them suddenly decide he couldn't get THIS one? That's pathetic.

I don't know if I would want to join an organization that doesn't approve of certain people such as gays though. I would only go where they are good people and where I was welcome.

 The poor kid, works so hard and then they won't give him the badge. People are so crude and inhuman sometimes.

 

Ziva65
by Gold Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 2:01 AM
Well, I don't see a district listed, perhaps it's a specific troop? I'm in BSA leadership, and the rules are about adult leaders. The rules aren't about scouts. Is she trying to use this as a platform? Is he making a greater issue of his sexual orientation than his Eagle? scouts is about attitude and leadership, so what else is going on here I wonder.

I think if he went to another troop or another district, he could get his Eagle. yes, it's earned, but a bestowed honor. Not every boy who earns it actually receives it. I wonder if a bad attitude here has come forward, or if there are some other circumstances that aren't presented in the article. If we have difficult parents for whatever reason, they are "guided" into other troops.

It's a private organization, don't like the stance, don't join it. No different than me not being Catholic being denied communion in the Catholic Church, a private organization makes the rules. While I have no issues with someone who is gay, I don't make the rules for the BSA, I have also found great value in it for my boys.





Ziva65
by Gold Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 2:06 AM
Quoting Bookwormy:




that's interesting, I wasn't aware of the formal stance. we just had a similar issue in our troop, actually no one had any issue with the boy. I don't know that our troop would enforce anything like that. I'm wondering if he was really out and very bold. I could see that as offensive, just as offensive about a heterosexual being bold. Scouts isn't about sex....or orientation. it does distract from their goals if it's such an issue though.
SilverSterling
by MrsSilverusSnape on Oct. 9, 2012 at 7:09 AM

Signed it a Long time Ago and just explained to my 11yr son who wanted to join the boy scouts why I was against it.. I left the final choice to him if he still wanted too after knowing everything and how they treated others then I would support him.. He decided he didn't want to belong to a group who mistreated others based on who they love or who their parents choose to love. Yes I do know that its not every troop but living where I live and know the fathers I know I wouldn't chance it.

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