Recently I wrote about how my husband I have chosen to withdraw our son from Cub Scouts because of our disgust with the organization for their ban against membership for openly gay members.
As a follow-up, a friend sent me a link to a moving Tumblr site featuring letters from Eagle Scouts to the Boy Scouts of America, telling the stories of how they decided to return their badges in protest of this ban. Their About page explains:
Many Eagle Scouts have returned their badges in protest since the Boy Scouts of America announced it’s decision to reaffirm the ban on openly gay people participating in the organization. This site was created to display those letters and encourage more Eagle Scouts to join the movement against BSA bigotry and discrimination.
The men from Eagle Scouts Returning Our Badges are working from within the system to make change, sacrificing something they worked hard for, something they earned, for the greater good. With their permission, we are sharing a few of the letters found on their Tumblr page, where you can read dozens more letters to the BSA protesting their continued discrimination against gay members.
Mr. Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive
BSA National Executive Board
1325 Walnut Hill Lane
PO Box 152079
Irving, Texas 75015-2079
Dear Mr. Mazzuca,
I earned my Eagle Scout rank in 1961 at age 14 with Troop 62 in Long Beach, California. Later I received the Bronze Palm and the God and Country Award. All are being returned to you and I further ask that my name be removed from your records, if I am still in your data base.
Your values are not my values and they are not the values of the Boy Scouts of America that I knew in the 1960s. I am not only returning these items because of your repugnant stance on LGBT issues but on your total failure to protect those you are supposed to be serving. The BSA’s cover up of pedophilia is yet another example of an organization that “circles the wagons” to protect the organization rather than those victimized by the institution. When will we learn – Penn State, religious organizations, and now the BSA!
I learned many great lessons from the Scouts – leadership, communications, setting and reaching goals, etc. I did not learn about the values you now represent – bigotry, discrimination, and intolerance. You claim that your ban is based on the Scout Law – but I fear you are taking the position of some religious groups that dominate your organization. I thought you taught tolerance for all faiths. My religious affiliation is with a church that welcomes everyone and accepts LGBT individuals as members, clergy, and bishops. You apparently disrespect my religious beliefs because they are definitely in conflict with what you espouse. I cannot serve both. My church wins this contest easily.
This has been a difficult decision. I do not often take such public stands easily. However, I am ashamed of the Boy Scouts and pray you will eventually see the damage you are doing to this once fine organization.
San Diego, CA 92103