Mom Says Gay Teen Denied Eagle Scout Opportunity

Ryan Andresen is a student at Maybeck High School.

When Ryan Andresen completed a 288-tile wall of tolerance at Joaquin Moraga Middle School last month, he thought he had met the requirements to become an Eagle Scout.

But, according to his mother, the scoutmaster of Ryan's Moraga Boy Scout troop is refusing to sign off on the project because Ryan is gay. "We are all just in shock," said Ryan's mother, Karen Andresen.

The family has a petition drawing international attention on Change.org urging the leaders of the local troop to reject the Boy Scouts of America's "discriminatory anti-gay policy" and give Ryan Andresen the Eagle award. Ryan is a senior at Maybeck High School in Berkeley.

"It hurts me so much to watch Ryan suffer for being who he is, because to me, he's perfect," said Karen Andresen.

Ryan's father, Eric Andresen, used to do the bookkeeping for Troop 212. He resigned on Tuesday, Karen Andresen said, after Scoutmaster Ranier del Valle reaffirmed his refusal to sign off on Ryan's project.

Patch is trying to reach del Valle for comment.

Karen Andresen said that Ryan came out to his family two years ago. The idea for the wall of tolerance was a result of the bullying he experienced at school and in the Boy Scouts.

Ryan Andresen hopes to attend the University of San Francisco.

"Many troops around the country are standing up, choosing to reject the Boy Scouts' discriminatory policy," the petition statement by Karen Andresen reads. "I sincerely hope that Ryan's troop — Troop 212 — will become one of them."

The Boy Scouts of America has policies that prohibit "open or avowed" homosexual people from membership
in its Scouting program, as well as atheists and agnostics, according to Wikipedia.

One petition signer from overseas wrote on Change.org said he signed "because I am a member of the Boy Scouts in the UK and discrimination is the very thing we are taught against! Scouts are supposed to HONOUR people with ALL their differences. Not treat them like filth."

Watch Patch for updates.

Robert Marshall October 05, 2012 at 04:07 PM
You left out the beginning of that paragraph..."But, according to his mother..." That's what the mother is saying, not the official reason which the Eagle Scout committee is saying for that troop. I'm not saying someone may not have a hidden agenda against this boy, or vice versa. I'm just asking, WHAT were the official reasons given after he submitted his paperwork for the award. Prior to the 1980s latitude of what could be used as an Eagle Scout projects was very wide. In fact, renovation of BSA facilities was even allowed as I helped on a project where we painted the main buildings at Camp Herms. Sometime after that project, the rules were changed requiring it be more outfacing from the Scouts themselves, and more community/civic oriented. There has always been paperwork involved when applying for Eagle Scout, and that project needed to be submitted and approved prior to being worked on (and then reviewed after completion). Was that process followed?
Richard Leigh October 05, 2012 at 06:03 PM
As an eagle scout I will donate my badge to this young man. I am ashamed of the boy scouts for this blatant descrimination. This is not doing your duty. These scout leaders should be fired immediately !,,,, shame on them. Richard leigh
crp0499 October 05, 2012 at 10:49 PM
This is perfectly ok. The child does not meet the moral standards established by the BSA. It's his choice. Choices have consequences.
Wendy Smith October 06, 2012 at 01:20 AM
To Ryan, you're a brave kid and I hope that you receive your award. You've worked hard for it and deserve it. My only suggestion to you is to change the name of your wall. Who wants to be "Tolerated"? You are who are and you should be "accepted" for just that. And if the Scouts don't award you what is rightfully yours, then hold your head up high knowing you held to the Scout way, respecting God, country, and fellow man. I have three boys who would be great scouts, but until the organization recognizes the accomplishments of all the boys, leaders, etc. they won't be joining anytime soon. What shame. Eagle Scout is a huge honor, but not worth the price of raising my boys in an organization that openly discriminates. Best of luck to you kiddo!
Wendy Smith October 06, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Love this! Scouts looking out for Scouts. Richard, you're my new hero.


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