Comment of the Day: 'I'm Pulling My Son Out of Boy Scouts'

After the local Boy Scouts council once again denied a gay teen his Eagle Award following an appeal, parents in the area are responding in outrage. Here's what they're saying.

Boy Scouts are taught to always "be prepared." But are their parents prepared to pull them out of the organization in protest against anti-gay policies?

Perhaps so. After the Mount Diablo Silverado Council once again denied local boy scout Ryan Andresen his Eagle Scout badge, some parents are considering boycotting the scouts.

The council claims that Andresen, because he is gay, rejects God and therefore cannot fulfill the Boy Scout "duty to God" promise.

Reactions from Patch users have included outrage, shock, and even a new promise: to remove their sons from the organization.

A commenter on the Lamorinda Patch Facebook page calls the situation "crazy" and says he is "seriously considering" pulling his son out of the Boy Scouts.

Are you considering taking your son out of Boy Scouts? Do you agree with such a boycott? Share your views in the comments section below.

Here's what parents and locals are saying about the decision from the Boy Scout Council:

On the Lamorinda Patch Facebook page: "Something is seriously wrong with our society. I think all scouts should band together and do something to send a message."

Another says, "If he completed the projects and necessary badges, he should be awarded. Baden Powell would agree."

"Shameful," says a commenter on the Concord Patch Facebook page. "My boys will never be associated with this terrible organization."

Another says, "How dare they say Ryan rejects God. They are acting very unGod like."

One commenter states that while he agrees Andresen should recieve his badge, the Boy Scouts have a right to adhere to such policies: "This is the land of the free right? The scouts are a private group right? I'm not for their decision but it is hypocritical to fight against oppression then turn around and oppress a private group for [their] American right [...] If you don't agree with the choice it makes don't participate with the group!"

A commenter on the Pleasant Hill Patch Facebook page says, "Personally, I think it's incredibly disappointing. I would like to pride myself in saying that the town I live in is full of forward thinkers, trying to better the community in anyway it can."

Another says, "Are they living in the 16th Century? Sounds like they are branding the Scout as a 'Heretic'."

"Pathetic," says a commenter on the Martinez Patch Facebook page. "I have always thought I would one day have my son in Boy Scouts and loved the idea of being a 'den mother'. Never going to happen now. I will never have my son associated with a group that discriminates against youths."

Another parent adds: "My daughter was a girl scout for many years and I loved the organization — very inclusive and non-discriminatory. But my son will never ever ever be a part of the Boy Scouts."

On the Walnut Creek Patch Facebook page, a father says: "Yet one more reason my kids will never be let anywhere close to that paramilitary bigot hateful organization."

Have your views of the Boy Scouts changed? Comment below.

Chris F. January 11, 2013 at 08:42 PM
Mike, If your getting so wound up over the patch then perhaps you should make like Susan and take a break! Smile, It becomes contagious!
Robert Smith January 11, 2013 at 09:00 PM
Claire, I agree with you completely about Karen and Ryan being positive. Could it just be that maybe part of their positiveness is from being a Boy Scout? Isn't that what the Boy Scouts would like to come from their members? I think they have a very good Boy Scout in Ryan.
Chris J Kapsalis January 11, 2013 at 10:01 PM
You said for him to use proper spelling and grammer if he wants to be taken serously. Serously?
Chris J Kapsalis January 11, 2013 at 10:03 PM
My point was is spelling does not seem to stop epoepl from getting others message or meaning. Bee it no meaning or giberish or profound thoughts.
lovelafayette January 11, 2013 at 10:15 PM
I am a Lafayette tax payer and I want BSA out of Lafayette Schools: no meetings, no recruitment, no awards ceremonies. I want the Lafayette School District to stop cooperating with BSA, stop providing utilities to the log cabin adjacent to Lafayette Elementary School. Let the BSA leaders sit in their cold, dark cabin and explain to the boys WHY they are "in the dark". If the cabin is on school district land take back the cabin and demolish it. Replace it with a wall of tolerance!
DONALD E. BARKLEY January 12, 2013 at 02:45 AM
As a private organization, BOY Scouts of the U.S.A. respects the values and beliefs of each of its members and does not intrude into personal matters. Therefore, there are no membership policies on sexual preference. However, BOY Scouts of the U.S.A. has firm standards relating to the appropriate conduct of adult volunteers and staff. The BOY Scout organization does not condone or permit sexual displays of any sort by its members during Boy Scout activities, nor does it permit the advocacy or promotion of a personal lifestyle or sexual preference. These are private matters for BOYS and their families to address. BOY SCOUTS upholds a "DON"T ASK, DON"T EVANGLIZE" policy on sexuality. The debate over this issue is split between those who feel that the policy should avoid and prevent discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, and those who question the inclusion of GAY MALES. Now is this unreasonable! I HOPE SO//! Oh I FORGOT I changed the names From "GIRLS SCOUTS" to "BOY"S" It is a fine group THE GIRLS SCOUT STANDARD! They see Differances/ .Hmm/ Let's Hear the OUTRAGE! Donald E. Barkley
MIKE ALFORD January 12, 2013 at 02:48 AM
Well (Chris F.) & (lovelafayett) If Eather of you or anyone else dont use your real names than I cant figure out how Martinez Patch Is even letting you get away with puting any statements out here ? when I first joined Patch THEY MADE YOU GO BY RULES ! One Of the rules was to Use Your own Name and to be IN Their Own Words Transparent & Civil Not to Use anykind of threats --- But See What I Do not Understand Is How They Let You People Get On Here And Give Opinions Without Identifing who you Are ???? How do we (AMERICAN CITIZENS) Know Whos making all these comments ? For all we Know all these comments could be comming from ONE Gay Scout ? And Thats OK You Have A right to Give YOUR Views ! But At Least USE YOUR REAL NAME !! ---- Unless Your Not Sure If Your Cause or your ideas and you are ashamed of your name or who you really are ! Hell We Dont Even Know if You Are American Citizens --- So to me Chris F. I could Give A Rats Behind What You Think ! We Dont Even Know If Your A Real Person ???? ---- So Dear You Smile ! It Be Contagious ?
karen January 12, 2013 at 02:58 AM
@Chris. Bullying in troop 212 has been a problem, and I know of some kids who were bullied, and left, before Eagle. An anonymous letter was sent out recently, in regards to another incident, as well. Ryan had responded to this letter to try to help and talked about the bullying he indured in the troop. I did not know that all of this was going on due to the limited role women have in this troop. Ryan says in the letter that he was put down, called names, harassed, hazed at summer camp, called" faggot", and laughed at. He goes into little detail and mentions problems from name calling about his weight, and gay slurs, before coming out. Name night consisted of others scouts making up names for each other which were very hurtful. Some of the adults did not know the meaning, and some words were backwards to hide this. I heard from one past scout of this troop that was called tinkerbell over and over until he was in tears. Ryan says he wish he could forget about all of this, including how it was excused as tradition, or all the times the adult leaders said"suck it up: or "stop being a girl", but I can't forget, he says. He was pushed into severe depression r/t to this, and sad that these scouts went on to get their Eagle. He also recognizes the changes that started taking place when his dad came on board to help change these practices. If I only knew earlier.
karen January 12, 2013 at 03:20 AM
@ Mike A. I can't believe that you have such "hate" in your heart. I actually feel sorry for you, that you have to live and expel such hatred. I hope God never gave/gives someone like you a gay child. I never thought that I would have a gay child, but I do. He is the same as any other human being. He is honest, loyal, courageous, loving, creative, sensitive, an honor student, a son, grandson, brother, a person, just like everyone else. The BSA policy is hurtful to so many, and I have heard from SO many gay scouts that had to hide who they really are. I don't agree that most people agree with you. I know that there are bigots in this world that come from people like you, it is a cycle. People are not born to hate. Definition of bigot: a person that treats others with hatred and intolerance, or, Mike Alford. As a true Christian, I pray for you...
Dive Turn Work January 12, 2013 at 03:41 AM
Using your name doesn't improve or ensure the quality of a comment as Mike's comment so eloquently proves.
DONALD E. BARKLEY January 12, 2013 at 04:17 AM
OK ....NOW Alford WE DISAGREE ON MANY POINTS///however you ARE spot on AS TO THE USE OF pseudo names! iT ALLOW'S FOR THE VERY REAL DANGER OF PEOPLE hiding THEIR IDENTIFY/ and having/TOTALLY "hidden agendas" THAT may I SAID may/ BE SEXUAL IN nature!! WHEN SUCH ISSUES ARRIVE DUPLICITY CAN SURLY THRIVE! PLEASE I SAID MAYBE! I AM JUST NOW LOOKING UP "FACT'S"! WHAT IS OUT THERE AND WHY! THE MOM "KARin"? I HOPE AND PRAY your son Grows UP AS GOOD AS HE SOUNDS!/ BUT FACT'S ARE A MAJORITY DON'T BELIVE IN GAYS IN BOY SCOUTS,AND "NO BEING GAY is NOT JUST LIKE ANY person! or life has just a generation left! NOT WORSE OR BAD/ BUT A MINORITY! and Not evil bad however your statement is false this is a sad issue and divisive,Karen if that's your name/I pray that you and son and all in this situation/ That we can find a solution/in witch not "compellation" but compassion for both sides! Don
DONALD E. BARKLEY January 12, 2013 at 04:18 AM
Sorry on CAPS... no disrespect it was set by mistake!! DON
MIKE ALFORD January 12, 2013 at 09:48 AM
Well ---first of all Im Glad To hear that you are a True Christian ! (I Have been all of my life) But before you say that I have So much HATE in my heart As a true Chistian as you profess to be What Gives you the right to Judge Me ? I Never said One Single Thing About your son ! Not ONE Thing at All ! I dont know Where your coming from First of All If you really are a Chistian Than You Would Never Have Tried to Judge Me ! You dont know anything about me, now this subject on this thread is Ones Own Statement on there own views about The Boy Scouts Of AMERICA I Do have My Own Views ! I never said the word HATE not once ! if you cant deal with Reality That Here In America We Have the Right to express our own views ! Can you grasp That Thought ? And If you are a true Chistian Than please tell Us Where In The Bible Does it Condone Homosexuality ? And what Does it say in the Old & New Testment about Homosexuality ? Now Im sure you read the Bible as the true christian that you are ! After you do read up on the subject get some Views of What is said ! Are you going to say that there is hate in the bible also because of the bibles views like you accuse Me of being so Full of hate ? Your son hasent done anything to me and i have no hate towards him in anyway itsYou that should Be Praying for ForgivnessFor Pointing your finger and Judge yourself for way overstepping your Bounds and judge Me For making a statment on my Views Towards The Boy scouts Of America ! This thread is about
Informed Citizen January 12, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Mr. Smith (and the hoards of misled Patch (aol) and major media Drones): There is a back story to this that only insiders seem to be aware of: Andresen's checkered career with this Troop was unbefitting the rank of Eagle. It is said he failed to participate fully with the Troop and was chronically absent from meetings and events. His last minute rush to cram in his rigorous Eagle requirements was a "day late and a dollar short." Having assisted 3 boys to attain this highest honor, I can tell you that it requires years of dedication and many months of service in a leadership capacity in a Troop. Nationwide, only 2% of all Boy Scouts ever attain Eagle, since BSA's 1911 founding. A century later (2011) only 1 in 20 dedicated scouts reached Eagle. Yet from all you read about herein, and elsewhere, in a media seemingly hell bent on destroying this honorable and beneficial organization, you'd think that every kid born was entitled to receive this coveted high honor. From a purely legal standpoint, the Boys Scouts is a private organization entitled to have its set of requirements which every scout and scout family knows and acknowledges from their first day as Tenderfoot. If the basic tenets of the Scout Laws and Oath are reprehensible to a scout or his parents, no one forces them to join. Our Supreme Court properly upheld the rights of the BSA to exclude homosexual adult leaders. Would not anyone respect the rights of NAMBLA to exclude Chick Fil-A's President?
Robert Smith January 13, 2013 at 12:26 AM
To Informed Citizen, It would have been nice to know the other side of this story. If what you say is true and I am not questioning your side of the story, what I would ask is why wasn't this reported as the reason rather than the "gay" reason? If in fact Ryan didn't fulfill his obligation then he doesn't deserve that honor. Thanks for the info also.
Josh Goldman January 13, 2013 at 01:37 AM
Homosexuals should not be allowed to join the Boy Scouts. They can join their own homosexual clubs that routinely discriminate against Heterosexuals.
karen January 13, 2013 at 07:14 AM
Too late, they joined before they knew and there are tons! I should know because "they" are contacting me. Beware they are every where! @Goldmam No jews or blacks or women or Irish allowed Irish need not reply Remember those signs? How about "No coloreds allowed" or male cook wanted?" None of these signs are allowed today Thank God we fought against this discriminatin
karen January 13, 2013 at 09:56 AM
@Informed citizen???You make no sense at all and I sure hope that these are not the lies that leaders from Troop 212 are feeding you. If attendance was an issue, think please, why would the SM lead Ryan on to complete his project???Why would the SM sign for Ryan to go ahead and do his Eagle project?? Why was the only reason given to my husband, who was a leader in the troop, I am not going to sign off on his completed project, because he is gay, only explanation...DTG, now attendance, really??What are you going to grasp at next? By the way, the SM is suppose to directly tell the scout, you know, the one he is suppose to CARE about...Ryan has tried to contact him. If you want me to talk about the many issues that need to be addressed in this troop I will. Bullying, hazing, drug use, rehab.... All of Ryan's work was completed, including Eagle Binder and project. Other people that are involved in Boy Scouts in our community gave Ryan an Eagle Board of Review. He passed in every aspect, even DTG. The only area not addressed, sexual orientation, I believe everyone knows the answer to this one by now. I suppose he could lie, like everyone else, and say he is not gay. Luckily, he learned the value of honesty from his family, and not the Boy Scouts(T212). If anyone wants to see the documentation, I have it all. I really wanted to have Del Valle and Fenoglio on the BSA panel on KQED...they were contacted...
karen January 13, 2013 at 10:19 AM
Another comment to informed citizen(T212), I mentioned above all the lies that you stated, as well as the documentation in order of events that I have. Either you have limited information, or lack any sense of logic. I wanted to mention, like I have all along, that I believe the scouting program provides a benefit to many. I tell parents NOT to take their child out of scouts if they enjoy it. I mention the leadership, community service, and outdoor adventures they will experience. I am working with Scouts for Equality, Zach Wahls, who had a great experience in Scouts, and wants everyone to have the same opportunity. The kids that really need scouts should not be turned away. There are many troops that do not discriminate in our area, like Troop234, also some in Lafayette and Orinda , and the whole Piedmont Council-these are the troops to join. Discrimination is never right, especially against children.
Chris F. January 13, 2013 at 04:15 PM
Karen, As I mentioned the BSA may be immune to lawsuits for not admitting "gay" children through but they are not immune to lawsuits about hazing. I would assume that their would be a line of attornies willing to take that case on especially if the settlement changed policy. I hope that some of the comments on here don't get to you, I really appreciate your replies to them and at the same time, you don't have to respond to the ones we all know come from biggots and trolls as they are everywhere. I hope that Ryan and yourself have a great new year filled with new opportunities.
CB January 13, 2013 at 04:37 PM
I seriously doubt that if the reasons ( informed citizen) says is true on why Ryan didn't get his badge, then he would not have been invited on the Ellen show and shutterfly would not have issued him a $20,000 check. I'm sure all of the issues were checked. http://www.recapo.com/ellen-degeneres-show/ellen-interviews/ellen-gay-boy-scout-ryan-andresen-petitions-to-become-eagle-scout/
Paul L Wilson January 13, 2013 at 04:37 PM
What is the difference if any if a scout leader is gay or a scout is gay? How should this be handled?
gavilan January 13, 2013 at 05:23 PM
Paul: I think no difference. BSA has had a 'two leader rule' for quite some time. No scout is alone with a single leader at any time. This rule, combined with the practice that discussion of, displays of sexuality (of any kind) is not a part of the scouting experience, means to me that a gay leader should be a non-issue. As should be a gay scout. Seems the only barriers to gays being a part of scouting are anachronistic rules excluding them and society's current preoccupation with knowing people's sexual orientation or people having other people know their's. Imagine a time when no scout leader cared what Ryan's sexual preference was and Ryan would have no reason to bring it up in that venue. Beyond "don't ask, don't tell." Something like, "Who knows? Who cares?"
Chris J Kapsalis January 13, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Your mind is scary and I think says something about you Gosh, assuming you are a heterosexual male you Should Not be around young girls in any way shape or form if you believe they are Fox guarding the hen cage. Just because a man is Gay he wants boys or would harm a boy? Are you serious? So men who like women should not be around girls then or they will do automatically want to or will do what? That is the only thing I can think of why you would assume this, as to what you would do. It is obviously the case. I'll remind you the vast majority of molestation is by heterosexual adult males. Not Gay men.
Fritz 'Congodog' Stoop January 15, 2013 at 03:58 AM
Tom, So there's a white guy that lives in the clouds. He wears long flowing gowns, has shoulder length hair and apparently has little use for women, even his make-believe son was asexual at best. So this guy created our universe and all those others that crop up on our mightiest of telescopes in seven days and now spends his days keeping track of all our behavior, every bit of it. No wonder he's no hit with the girls, he's too darn critical. Then there's the heaven deal, that one always intrigued me. My dad told me it was outside of Palm Springs to get me to stop asking for directions. And the milk and honey idea, that's a doozie. And you actually ask bright young boys and girls to believe in the reality of this or they can't learn how to tie a sheep-shank knot? Not fair, that. As if you have cornered the market on honesty, morality and philosophy. Sounds more like delusional megalomania to me. And those Buddhists, they gotta go to, about a billion of them. They think god was a man, just like the rest. They just don't have the imagination you guys possess. Although they have that transmigration thing, where you can come back to life as just about anything under the sun. No that I could get my brain around. Good luck with this sort of thinking in the future, I think you and people like you are in for quite a surprise.
Thomas Wiggins January 15, 2013 at 06:20 AM
Fritz: I must after further reading conclude that you were replying to Tom Chesterman and not me :)) but just in case: If you read any of that in my post you are totally speaking to the wrong person, I never said anything even near what you implied. You most definitely barking up the wrong tree and peeing on the wrong fire hydrant. I am not a Bible thumper, nor church goer nor a member of the Westboro Baptist Church or the Snake handling worshippers either. Surely you are replying to someone else and just accidentally typed my name into it. I am totally Anti Religion, You sure you ain't a Jehovah's witness man !!! LOL
Thomas Wiggins January 15, 2013 at 06:32 AM
Perhaps the Boy Scouts of america need to more clearly define the GOD they wish their Scouts to uphold their Duty to. This is a Country with Freedom of Religion, and that does not give Any Religion the right to demand total allegiance to any one specific Religion or God. Apparently the BSA worships a God who is not tolerant of other religions or Homosexuals in this particular case. And Ryan worships a different God who does. Who has the power to say unto another who is upholding his duty to What God ? The Native Americans had respect for many Gods and the Great Spirit, and I certainly recall many ceremonies in scouting when we called upon the Great Spirit . Get the Politics out of Scouting and let the boys be boys and learn about the more important things in Scouting than some Scout masters personal religious interpretations of right and wrong.
Fritz 'Congodog' Stoop January 15, 2013 at 03:29 PM
My, aren't we touchy. And self-absorbed. Notice, Wiggs, the original commenter is also named 'Tom', and that cat's gone over the celestial rainbow for the 'big guy'. A nun (I was from an agnostic family, but sent to parochial [read: 'private'] schools for the superior focus on education) once told our class to think of the soul as a large milk bottle. Into which were placed ping pong balls (sic), some black which represented sinful acts and the others, white for acts considered to be 'good'. At the end of the person's life, the Big Guy simply counted the balls and if there were as little as one more black than white, you were condemned to burn in Hell FOREVER! Even at 8 or 9 years old, this seemed more than a bit arbitrary and harsh to me, so I relegated the rest of their implausible rhetoric to my newly initiated scrap heap of bad ideas. Mom had been a rare female UC grad in the 30s and she had been taken up with the mysteries of the Far East, and spouted words like 'karma' and 'existential' around the dinner table, which seemed for me a better fit. She told us every act, no matter how seemingly insignificant, had a moral and political component. Failure to behave morally did not condemn you, but rather it negatively effected the very fabric that wove all of humanity together in one large all encompassing garment, human existence. This I got and went with (it).
Fritz 'Congodog' Stoop January 15, 2013 at 05:31 PM
Been referred to as 'quirky', 'brilliant', a 'prodigy', 'sardonic', 'pragmatic', etc. but never "insane". More than a little harsh descriptive for an accomplished soul, but I can roll with it. It seems to me we lost our need for external belief totems when we overcame our fear of the dark, so organized religions are little more than group therapy in my humble opinion. Greed, in all its forms, seems to have taken the front in the race for preeminent social disease, Conspicuous consumption will be the end of us, figuratively and literally. Latest mantra, "It is what it is" obviously.
Kendra loveless January 19, 2013 at 05:21 PM
We can be counted among those who have elected not to participate in this discriminatory organization. We took our boys out.


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