California Boy Scouts Chapter Challenges National Organization’s Anti-Gay Ban

Though 18-year-old Ryan Andresen had completed all of the necessary requirements for his Eagle Scout badge, but his Scoutmaster refused to sign his application for the award because he was gay in violation of the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) policies. Andresen and his family took his story to the media, garnering over 460,000 signatures on a petition and an honorary recognition from the California State Assembly. The Andresens circumvented the hierarchy, and now the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council is set to challenge the national policy on Ryan’s behalf.

Bonnie Hazarabedian chaired the review board that signed off on Ryan’s application and forwarded its recommendation to national headquarters last week. She believes he deserves the award because the anti-gay policy is “something out of the Dark Ages”:

HAZARABEDIAN: I don’t think sexual orientation should enter into why a Scout is a Scout, or whether they are Eagle material. We felt without a doubt he deserved that rank.

Though the BSA has not replied to questions about his application, spokesman Deron Smith said in October that Andresen’s membership with the organization had been revoked. The Andresens are celebrating the recognition of his accomplishments, but it’s still up to the BSA to determine Ryan’s fate.