Gay Boy Scout Denied Eagle Award Says He Believes in God
The Boy Scouts of America say that Ryan Andresen was denied his Eagle Award because of a violation of the organization’s religious principles, but the 17-year-old refutes that, saying he believes in a “higher power.”
“…The only reason he’s being denied the rank of Eagle is because the Boy Scouts of America has a problem with Ryan being gay,” said his mother, Karen Andresen, 49.
Andresen has spent a decade completing the requirements for the coveted award, and now that he is just about to turn 18 — the cut-off date for attaining the highest honor — his Moraga, Calif., his troop won’t approve it.
abcnews.com has placed multiple calls and sent emails to the teen’s Troop 212 scoutmaster, Rainer Del Valle, but he has not returned calls for comment.
Deron Smith, spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America, released this statement today:
“This scout proactively notified his unit leadership and Eagle Scout counselor that he does not agree to scouting’s principle of ‘Duty to God’ and does not meet scouting’s membership standard on sexual orientation. Agreeing to do one’s ‘Duty to God’ is a part of the scout Oath and Law and a requirement of achieving the Eagle Scout rank.”
Smith also said that even though the Boy Scouts does not actively ask the sexual orientation of boys, discussions with the Andresens have made Ryan “no longer eligible for membership in scouting.”
He said the “ideals and principles” in the Scout Oath and Law are “central to the mission of teaching young people to make better choices over their lifetimes.”
Ryan’s project, a “tolerance wall,” was inspired by the years of hazing he endured in middle school and later at Boy Scout summer camp, where his nicknames were “Tinkerbell” and “faggot.”