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State Politicians Support Gay Scout Andresen

Thirty-two California legislators sign on letter calling on Boy Scouts to end policy barring gay youth and leaders; Change.org petition delivered to Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council.

The movement on behalf of Moraga's most famous Boy Scout — Ryan Andresen — is gaining political momentum with signatures.

There are the signatures of more than 400,000 people on a Change.org petition urging the Boy Scouts not to deny Andresen, 18, his Eagle Scout badge based on his sexual orientation. And there's a letter with the signatures of 32 California state legislators, including U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, according to a press release from Change.org.

On Wednesday, Andresen was brought to the stage by a 288-tile Tolerance Wall that hangs on an exterior wall at Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School.

On Thursday, the Andresen family delivered a copy of the petition to the Mount Diablo Silverado Council of the Boy Scouts of America in Pleasant Hill.

More information from Change.org:

“Just this week, UPS said they will no longer give money to the Boy Scouts
while the anti-gay policy is in place. That’s huge!” Ryan said. “I really hope the Boy Scouts realize that this is just the beginning. Their decision to uphold this awful policy doesn’t just hurt gay Scouts like me, but it hurts the entire Scouting community. But I know that if enough of us speak out, we can change this ...”

“In defending this hurtful and discriminatory policy barring gay youth
and leaders, the Boy Scouts of America are simply standing on the wrong
side of history. And in doing so, the Boy Scouts are hurting the very
people that you aim to serve: the young men who participate in your
programs,” said Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom …

The letter, addressed to Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council Scout Executive John
Fenoglio and Boy Scouts of America President Wayne Perry, calls on the
Boy Scouts to honor Andresen’s application to obtain the rank of Eagle
Scout and to end the long-standing policy barring gay youth and leaders.

“We ask that Ryan Andresen receive the honor that he has rightfully earned. To deny him the title of Eagle Scout denigrates his efforts, and  cheapens the title for his fellow Eagles. To hold him to a different  standard, to say he is unworthy of this honor because of his sexual  orientation is as offensive and un-American as it would be to do so because of the color of his skin,” writes Senator Yee and the 32 legislators who support his sign-on letter ...

Ryan has also received the support of his U.S. Senator, Barbara Boxer, who wrote to Ryan saying: "I recently read about your story and wanted to commend you for your 12  years of service to your community, as well as your determination to stand up for yourself and others against bullying and discrimination.

"Your perseverance to raise awareness against bullying is commendable. I  admire your courage to stand up for who you are, as well as the bravery you have demonstrated in the face of intolerance."


Chris Nicholson November 17, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Ryan should monetize his "15 minutes" by immediately applying to Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford. An Eagle Scout badge is nice, but in 10 years a degree from one of those will be nicer....
Nice and Rough November 17, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Cal Tech and MIT would be even better.
Fritz 'Congodog' Stoop November 17, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Why's it always about the 'principal' with you, and not the 'principle'?
Nice and Rough November 17, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Fritz - There's nothing wrong with reminding Ryan that in the grand scheme an Eagle award is nice but it ain't gonna pay the bills. 10 years from now, his college degree will be much more important. Plus, in college, he can pick his friends from a wider array of people & won't be stuck hanging around the Moraga bullies.
Chris Nicholson November 17, 2012 at 04:53 PM
@Fritz: Principled principals can create principal. You can't eat principle.
Lance Howland (Editor) November 17, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Just watch out for the assistant principal ... -- LDH
Fritz 'Congodog' Stoop November 18, 2012 at 09:40 PM
I am in full support of Ryan and his push back at the BSA's backward and exclusive policies. Preventing the young man's recognition is antithetical to the American tradition of 'inclusion' and a violation of his Civil Rights. As for the 'principle' of my earlier remark, I was simply pointing out the absence of recognition of all the other, as yet undiscovered, potential scouts that have been excluded by these arcane and archaic policies. Referring to it as a money making opportunity debases the issue and , well, cheapens it.
My Kids Dad November 19, 2012 at 06:51 PM
@ Fritz - can you cite some founders explanation of this new "inclusion" principle?
Fritz 'Congodog' Stoop November 20, 2012 at 12:46 AM
New?!? It is an intuitive leap extrapolated from the following: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." In our Declaration of Independence from the British Empire, it appears we were not only going it alone, but we were also were doing so as free human beings, undifferentiated one from the other. This seems in theory to be 'inclusive' although in practice we still struggle to this day to free ourselves from several monuments to hypocrisy as we diverge in terms of social, ethnic and gender bias, to name just three. But from 40,000 feet, we aspire to be an 'inclusive' society as described by Jefferson, Franklin, Adams et al, although language relative to slaveholders, both North and South, was withdrawn in the final draft. Prejudice, while seemingly stamped in our genetic code, is slowly, methodically being leeched from our societal reality, not by the force of will or intellect or law, but by the sheer force of numbers as Caucasians descend from the top of the heap. How we get there does not diminish inclusion as a worthy goal.

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