The Advocate
December 27, 2012

Boy Scout Ban Sparks Eagle Defection
After the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed its policy banning “open or avowed homosexuals” from membership, leadership, or employment, more than 300 Eagle Scouts — the organization’s highest rank — returned their badges in protest. Lesbian mother of four and troop leader Jennifer Tyrrell (pictued above, center, with family) got booted by the Cub Scouts and went on a national campaign to raise awareness of the problem, receiving plenty of Scout support. And nearly 390,000 people have signed a petition started by a California mother whose son was denied his Eagle Scout badge because he came out to friends and family as gay. Karen Andresen said her son Ryan had dreamed of earning his Eagle award since he was 6 years old. But when leadership in Ryan’s San Francisco–area troop found out he 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,” Andresen wrote in the petition. Despite increasingly vocal protests from members around the country, the BSA’s leadership affirmed and continues to enforce the discriminatory policy.

GLAAD is proud of our work with Jennifer Tyrrell, Eric Andresen, Zach Wahls, Scouts for Equality, and others to end the Boy Scouts' anti-gay ban. Help GLAAD continue the work to end the Boy Scouts' ban: