Boy Scout denied Eagle Award for being gay to deliver 400,000 signatures to BSCTop Highlights, Breaking News Thursday, October 18th, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Ryan Andresen, the Boy Scout who was kicked out of that organization for being gay and denied his Eagle Award days before his 18th birthday will deliver more than 400,000 petition signatures to the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Boy Scout Council (BSC) today. Ryan’s mother, Karen Andresen, started the petition on Change.org two weeks ago after learning that her son would be denied his Eagle Award – despite 12 years of participation in the Boy Scouts – because he’s gay.
Last week, Andresen and his mother appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to tell their story and to spread the word about Karen’s Change.org petition.
They will be joined at the petition delivery by Matthew Kimball, a member of the national group Scouts for Equality and a gay Eagle Scout who is an alum of the same Boy Scout troop as Ryan (Local Troop 212). California Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner will also attend and will present Ryan with a resolution honoring his courage to speak out about the Boy Scouts’ anti-gay policy.
Eric Andresen, Ryan’s father who has resigned from troop leadership, will also be in attendance.
Officials with the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Boy Scout Council have told the Andresens that they will accept the 400,000 petition signatures and meet briefly with the family at the delivery event.
Ryan had completed all of the requirements for his Eagle Scout Award, including a capstone project where he worked with a local middle school to build a “Tolerance Wall” on their grounds to raise awareness about bullying. But two weeks ago, just days before he turned 18, Scout leaders told Ryan that he could not receive his Eagle Award because he’s gay. Ryan has since received a letter from the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council informing him that he has been kicked out of the Boy Scouts altogether. Ryan will have copies of the letter on-hand at the petition delivery.
“My son has showed incredible courage in telling his story. Luckily, thousands of people are now standing up and supporting my son in hopes that Troop 212 will do the right thing, and give him his Eagle Scout Award. And I’ll be right by Ryan’s side until we convince the Boy Scouts to stop this discrimination,” said Karen Andresen.
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