The joy was short-lived in the Andresen home Tuesday as a scout official from the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council denied a recommendation from the Eagle Board of Review to approve the Eagle Scout badge for Moraga teen Ryan Andresen, and refused to send the endorsement to national scout officials.
According to KTVU, John Fenoglio, staff executive at the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council, said Tuesday that he would not approve the board's recommendation, or send it on to the national office.
A scout official said later that Andresen does not qualify for the badge because he rejects God, a charge Andresen's father disputes.
Andresen and his family thought they had moved one step closer to getting his Eagle Scout badge, despite the fact that it was denied in October because Andresen is gay.
That denial, first reported on Lamorinda Patch, sparked a national controversy, landing Andresen and his mother on talk shows and national news. He also received support from local and national politicians, including U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and 32 California state legislators. Nearly 500,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Boy Scouts of America to grant Andresen his Eagle Scout badge and overturn the policy prohibiting gays from belonging to the Boy Scouts.
On Dec. 31, local scout leaders agreed to submit Andresen’s request to an Eagle Board of Review. They had recommended approval of the badge to the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council, which is headquartered in Pleasant Hill.
“I’m just so incredibly happy for Ryan,” said his mother Karen Andresen before the rejection. “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 BSA’s National Advancement Team decides to do with his application, this victory makes it all worth it and gives me so much hope for the future of the organization.”