Ryan is now a senior in high school, and just completed the final requirements to earn his Eagle Award. He’s an honor student with great SAT scores, who’s hoping to attend the University of San Francisco. But because he recently came out to his friends and family as gay, leaders from our local Boy Scout troop say they won’t approve his Eagle award.
A Boy Scout gets his Eagle by earning many badges, completing all lower Scout rank requirements, and carrying out an approved final project. So Ryan decided to build a “Tolerance Wall” for his school, to show bully victims — like Ryan — that they are not alone. Ryan worked countless hours with elementary students to amass a wall of 288 unique tiles, all illustrating acts of kindness.
But when leadership in Troop 212 (San Francisco Bay Area) found out that Ryan was gay, the Scoutmaster said he refused to sign the official paperwork designating Ryan as an Eagle Scout, despite the fact that Ryan completed all of the requirements, simply because of Ryan’s sexuality.
Many troops around the country are standing up, choosing to reject the Boy Scouts’ discriminatory policy. I sincerely hope that Ryan’s troop will become one of them. And with your help, they just might.
It hurts his mother and all his friends to watch Ryan suffer for simply being honest about who he is, especially after all those years of effort in being an exemplary boy scout. 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.
Click this link to sign a petition to Ryan’s local boy scout troop ask them to give him the honour that he’s rightly earned and fully deserved.