High school senior Ryan Andresen was denied his Eagle Scout Award because he’s gay.
The 17-year-old recently completed his Eagle Scout project, building a huge “tolerance wall” (pictured below) to honor the victims of bullying, including himself. Unfortunately, despite fulfilling all the requirements plus more, Andresen was denied the Eagle award because he recently revealed that he is gay.
To add insult to the injury, the Boy Scouts of America announced in a statement that Ryan is “no longer eligible for membership in Scouting” because of his sexuality. They also added that his sexual orientation goes against a Scout’s principle, “Duty to God”.
“I want everyone to know that it should be based on accomplishment, not your sexual orientation. Ryan entered Scouts when he was six years old and in no way knew what he was,” Ryan’s mom Karen Andresen said. “I think right now the Scoutmaster is sending Ryan the message that he’s not a valued human being and I want Ryan to know that he is valued…and that people care about him.”
The Andresen family has created an online petition in an attempt to reverse this discriminatory decision and to work against reforming the Boy Scout’s “anti-gay policy.”
“It hurts me so much to watch Ryan suffer for being who he is, because to me, he’s perfect. Ryan has worked for nearly 12 years to become an Eagle Scout, and nothing would make him more proud than earning that well-deserved distinction,” Ryan’s mom wrote on their Change.org page.
The petition currently has almost 300,000 signatures. Show your support for Ryan here and help him receive his well-deserved “Citizenship in the Community” award.