My son loved Cub Scouts last year, he even came in third in the Pine Car Derby (pretty good accomplishment for a Tiger Scout!). He loved the uniform, the badges, and learning the salutes.
But this year my husband and I withdrew our family from the local Cub Scout pack because of their recent decision to disenfranchise gay scouts and leaders from the organization, not to mention their systematic cover-ups of multiple sex abuse cases.
It’s been hard for some of my friends to understand. I think they think I’m making a big stink about nothing. But the truth is, I cannot put our name on an organization that would do what this Gawker story reports they’ve done:
Ryan Andresen was in “total shock” when his Scoutmaster informed him he would not be awarding him the rank of Eagle Scout — the Boy Scouts highest honor — because he was openly gay.
“He had been telling me all along that we’d get by the gay thing,” Andresen, 17, told Yahoo News. “It was by far the biggest goal of my life. It’s totally devastating.”
Andresen spent the past 12 years earning enough merit badges to qualify for Eagle Scout, and recently completed his service project — ironically, an anti-bullying “tolerance wall” he worked on with area schoolchildren.
So, a boy who has been dutifully scouting since he was in first grade was told that he would never advance to Eagle Scout because he is an out gay teen?
Despite the good that the Boy Scouts of America does, it is important that we take this time to make our own personal protests against an organization that is encouraging discrimination and even hate.
It’s time the Boy Scouts of America started truly caring about our youth—in every way—and as long as we keep putting our names on their rosters, we are advocating for their policies of discrimination and allowing more children to be harmed.
Read also: Boy Scouts of America Covered Up Sexual Abuse of Children by Ozy Frantz