Eric Andresen, whose 18-year-old son Ryan was denied the rank of Eagle Scout becuase he's gay, spoke out in support of his son against the Boy Scouts of America's ban on gay members at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco on Saturday. Take a look:
"I am so tired of the Boy Scouts telling my son that he's not worthy. He is worthy," said Andresen to a standing ovation.
GLAAD has been working with the Andresen family to share Ryan's story in national news outlets, helping to shine light on the harms inflicted on gay youth by the Boy Scouts' discriminatory policies.
Eric was joined on stage by Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell, who in April 2012 was ousted as leader of her son's Cub Scouts pack because she's gay.
"Together with GLAAD, Alicia and I were able to create a movement," said Tyrrell. "The time for change is now."
GLAAD first started calls for the Boy Scouts of America to end its ban on gay scouts and scout leaders in April 2012 after Jennifer Tyrrell, a mom and den leader from Ohio was removed from her 7-year-old’s Cub Scout Pack for being gay. Tyrrell’s original Change.org petition has attracted more than 343,000 signatures in support of ending the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay Scouts and leaders. Tyrrell, together with GLAAD, has launched a new petition to urge the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to completely lift its anti-gay ban on both youth members and adult employees and volunteers. To take action on this issue please visit www.glaad.org/denmother. For more on GLAAD's work on this campaign, including a timeline of key events, visit www.glaad.org/scouts.