Former Boy Scout Ryan Andresen's Eagle
Scout application has been approved by a local Boy Scouts council,
despite the Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) ban on openly gay scouts and
The Mount Diablo-Silverado Boy Scout
Council in California formally recommended that Andresen be awarded
the top rank of Eagle, Reuters
reported on Tuesday. The application stills needs the approval of
the national organization.
Last year, Andresen, 18, was denied the
award after he completed the work needed to earn it.
In an appearance on cabler CNN's
Anderson Cooper 360, Andresen said he was “pretty naïve”
to the Scouts' policy banning gay members, adding that his troop
leader, with whom Andersen had discussed his sexuality, told his
father about the decision to deny the award.
“He still won't talk to me,” he
said. “He's ignoring me still.”
“It's really sad. I feel really
devastated. Especially because I looked up to him for so long. To
have him just totally ignore me like this, like it's not like him.
It's just sad.”
petition asking the BSA to reconsider started by his mother, Karen
Andresen, attracted more than 450,000 digital signatures.
“I want other gay Scouts to know,
especially those who are hiding who they really are, that this win is
for you,” Ryan Andresen said. “Thank you to everyone who joined
my mom's campaign. I really do have the best parents in the world.”
“I'm just so incredibly happy for
Ryan,” Karen Andresen is quoted as saying. “He's worked so hard
for this honor, and as a mother, it means the world to me to know
that our local Scouting community believes in him, too. Regardless
of what the Boy Scouts of America decide to do with his application,
this victory makes it all worth it, and gives me so much hope for the
future of the organization.”
President Herndon Graddick added: “How long can the BSA go on
ignoring its own members and its core values of fairness, leadership
and integrity? The growing number of councils welcoming gay scouts
and leaders reminds BSA autocrats: change will come with you, or