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 leaders.

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.”

A 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.”

GLAAD 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 without you.”