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Eagle Scouts Return Medals Over Boy Scouts Anti-Gay Policy

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Most Eagle Scouts spent the majority of their youth earning badges and medals, pledging loyalty, and learning about honor in the Boy Scouts. And now, many are turning their back on the organization.

The Boy Scouts, who have had an anti-gay policy for over 100 years, reaffirmed its policy recently saying that it would continue it’s ban on gay members. The decision has sparked a backlash from the LGBT community and several eagle scouts have decided that they no longer want to be a part of the organization.

The movement may have started on the website Boing Boing after writer posted a letter that her husband, a former eagle scout, sent to the organization.

Former Eagle Scout Christopher Baker wrote:

“Today I am returning my Eagle Scout medal because I do not want to be associated with the bigotry for which it now stands. I hope that one day BSA stands up for all boys. It saddens me that until that day comes any sons of mine will not participate in the Boy Scouts.”

has been updating her husband’s story at Boing Boing. Since posting Baker’s letter several other scouts have sent similar resignations to the Boy Scouts. Andrew Reinhard, Leo A. P. Giannini, Curtis Markham, Robert Paxton, and several other former Eagle Scouts have returned their medals.

All of the letters are similar in a few ways. They all talk about how much fun they had in the scouts. They all talk about how much work they did to earn their Eagle Scout badges. And they all talk about the morals and values they learned while being in the Boy Scouts. But in the end, they all conclude that they are now ashamed to part of the organization.

Martin Cismar, a former scout from Texas, writes:

“I’m not gay. However, I can no longer in good conscience hold this badge as long as the BSA continues its policy of bigotry… I don’t want to be an eagle scout if a young man who is gay can’t be one, too. Gentlemen, please do the right thing.”

A member of Troop 237 in Lake Zurich, IL, who earned his bade in 1997, writes:

“This is not the stand for the BSA to take. You should be leaders in character building, and tolerance for young men. What you are doing is creating a stigma among young men that gay people are different, and not to be associated with. That it is something we should be afraid of. And you are telling this to boys at their most impressionable time… You are diminishing the value of the Eagle scout badge with your ignorant decisions, and as of now I would never let my son join such a bigoted organization.”

Reinhard writes:

“From an organization that taught me how to be a man and how to be helpful to others, what I held great pride in now carries shame. I am not alone in feeling this way. I would greatly urge the BSA to “do a good turn” and immediately reverse this decision. If the US Armed Forces can get beyond “don’t ask, don’t tell”, certainly the Scouts can do the same and attempt to maintain some semblance of honor.”

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What do you think of the Boy Scout’s anti-gay policy? Are you an Eagle Scout? Are you returning your badge?

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Comments

29 Responses to “Eagle Scouts Return Medals Over Boy Scouts Anti-Gay Policy”

  1. Hellslinger Van

    Farm Raised Disease.

    For many decades the United States prohibited the using of human fecal matter as fertilizer in crops that people ate from. Some 3rd world countries did but we Americans were afraid that it would spread disease. So what did the homosexuals do, they injected the feces while still inside a human incubator, the human body with life giving nutrients known as semen and did just what we feared, they created or advanced, mutated, hybridized the AIDS disease, and now they are in the process of doing the same with MRSA. Cite my source, try the CDC a branch of the Public Health Service, and one of the 7 uniformed services. How ironic!

  2. Hellslinger Van

    Legal Disease

    The legality of homosexuality must be challenged. The science that indicates homosexuality is caused by a dysfunction in the production of prenatal hormones and genetics research suggests that homosexuality is a birth defect. The 1973 vote to remove homosexuality is 37 years old and science has advanced considerably and we should also demand a new vote on homosexuality as a mental disorder. Passing laws to make a disease a civil right is illegal without first determining whether it is a disease or not.

  3. Bob McRobbie

    As an Eagle Scout, I'm proud that the organization has held strong against the intrusion of deviants. I'm glad I was never threatened to provide sexual service to a pervert in a scout uniform. Thank you BSA for being a light in this world of increasing darkness. You give me hope!

  4. Mark Wright

    Moronic comments! I am glad that the leaders of my boys scout troops are not as ignorant!

  5. ElizaBeth Marshall-Smith

    Baden-Powell, Seton and the rest of Scoutings founders ARE on record as to what they believed. Would they have agreed that the Scout Oath needs to be reduced to honoring how someone wants to stand-out for the way they have sex? And this is an "ADULT" conversation? REALLY?

  6. Mark Wright

    This Bob McRobbie guy probably only eats at Chick-Fil-A too!

  7. Dave Kaplan

    Ignorance is bliss. Sexual orientation isn't about who you have sex with, it's about who you are attracted to. it's the equivalent of being left handed in a right-handed dominated society. Someone who is gay is no more and no less representative than straight men in the characters of what makes a good Scout. The purpose of the policy wasn't to weed out gay men; it was to ensure that men of good character were involved in the lives of youngsters. That doesn't exclude gay men, and it certainly doesn't exclude gay youth.

  8. Stephen Georgeson

    Scouting to me was always about honor, community service, and building character. I am proud of my achievement of Eagle Scout and will continue to strive toward these ideals. It saddens me that this organization has come to such a low point. It saddens me even more that many people have forgotten the basic ideals of compassionate service and honor — there is nothing honorable or compassionate in opposing others' freedom to marry whomever they choose. Perhaps one day the BSA will come to its senses and recognize this. Until then, I am guessing there will be more boys who will miss out on the truly good things this organization has to offer.

  9. Stephen Georgeson

    Scouting to me was always about honor, community service, and building character. I am proud of my achievement of Eagle Scout and will continue to strive toward these ideals. It saddens me that this organization has come to such a low point. It saddens me even more that many people have forgotten the basic ideals of compassionate service and honor — there is nothing honorable or compassionate in opposing others' freedom to marry whomever they choose. Perhaps one day the BSA will come to its senses and recognize this. Until then, I am guessing there will be more boys who will miss out on the truly good things this organization has to offer.

  10. ElizaBeth Marshall-Smith

    Ummm! If that's how you want to be identified. Truth has no agenda. It does note have emotions. It just is. So, get into a fight with a guidepost, and take the wrong road home. I'm not fighting with you.

  11. Scott Moore

    Those who disagree with the BSA's policy should look into the Baden-Powell Service Association, an alternative US-based co-ed Traditional Scouting group that refuses to discriminate on the basis of sexual preference or religious beliefs. You can learn more about the group at their website at http://www.bpsa-us.org.

  12. Ron Braet

    Bob, I'm so glad to read your enlightened comments. Obviously, most gay people are molesters of children. Oh no, wait. Sorry about that… I just checked the stats and that's not right. Well anyway, at least we can agree that they're sexual deviants! Oh no wait… I just checked and roughly 10% of mammals who copulate sexually are oriented homosexually. Well anyway, at least you've given this a lot of careful reflection and your stance is clearly rooted in fact! Oh wait…

  13. Adam Fekula

    The Eagle Scouts that have returned their medals should be ashamed of themselves. As an Eagle myself, I am ashamed that my former scouts have folded under the pressure to be "politically correct." The BSA has given you so much, yet you turn your back on the organization because the very same BSA that you wholeheartedly pledged to support is not quickly swayed by public opinion. That being said, it is your right to believe strongly in something. Any man worth their salt would go to the organization and try implement change from the inside, not just quit. My belief on the issue follows: Look at it from a practical viewpoint. Can you not see the implications of gay and straight youths in the same tent together? Surely you would not have females and males in the same tent. These two situations are somewhat different, but are similar in the fact that the increased risk for inappropriate behavior is still there.

  14. Mario Morales

    I understand the need to be PC, in this day and age. But, the Boy Scouts of America have had a set of morals and values that many Americans still believe in. Why should a "private organization" need to change it's morals and values when members promise to adhere to these values weekly when they recite the Scout Oath and Law at thousands of meetings across the country. If the Gay-Lesbian faction or the Atheists what to participate in Scouting, they need to they either need to adhere to the principles of Scouting or form a similar group that includes their own values. It's not about discrimination, or "separate but equal." The BSA has a set of morals and values, if you choose to join (a voluntary organization) you need to adhere to it's morals and values. Period.

  15. William Stancil

    RIGHT ON MARIO…YOU ARE ON THE MONEY…NOW GO AND TELL THE MASONS HOW TO RUN THIER PROGRAM..PLAIN INSANITY..LEAVE THE SCOUTS ALONE HAVE A LITTLE CLASS…CB.