"BSA executives kill approval of gay Scout's Eagle application, smear teen"

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Posted 1/10/2013 by scrappower in NSBR Board
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scrappower
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Posted: 1/10/2013 11:22:32 AM
So much for "working for change within" like some try to proclaim here. I will never support the BSA ever. Yes, it is their 'right' to discriminate, but I refuse to support it.


Yesterday, 18 year-old Ryan Andresen and his family celebrated that he was one step closer to getting his Eagle award after an official Eagle Board of Review unanimously approved Ryan's Eagle application.

According to Eagle Scout and Scouts for Equality founder Zach Wahls, the volunteer Eagle Board of Review traditionally has authority over Eagle applications, and, if approved, a Scout leaves that meeting with an understanding that he is an Eagle Scout. In Ryan's case, the board chair took an additional step, and received verbal confirmation from Scout Executive, John Fenoglio, that he would approve Ryan's application.

But Ryan's victory was short-lived, as Fenoglio, a paid employee of the BSA, reversed course and rejected the board's unanimously approved application -- an unprecedented action. Local Scout volunteers speculate that Fenoglio's decision was heavily influenced by BSA national.

"It's an unprecedented move," says Wahls. "It's clear that Fenoglio's reversal was forced by BSA national. He's a paid employee, and unfortunately, National exerts a lot of influence over their staff. His reversal, however, is most disappointing."

"The Boy Scouts is a volunteer driven organization. What signal is the Boy Scouts of America sending to those volunteers, when they circumvent the local process and tell the official Board of Review that the volunteer board lacks authority?" questioned Ryan's dad, Eric Andresen.

Indeed, the service of its volunteers remains the underpinning of the BSA. In 2011, the BSA reported 257,946,000 volunteer service hours, totaling $5,620,643,340 in services to support Scouting across America. How then can the BSA undermine its own volunteer leaders, the backbone of the organization?

The Andresen family is devastated, but what hurts them more is that BSA national would rather soil the official Eagle application process and pit local paid staff against volunteer leaders, than allow a gay Boy Scout to be awarded an honor he's earned.

This marks the second time Ryan has been rejected by Scouting leaders he looks up to -- just because he's gay. To make matters worse, BSA Executives - the unelected, paid brass helming an organization that touts the principles of honesty and integrity -- continue to malign Ryan in the national media.

BSA national spokesperson, Deron Smith, falsely asserts Ryan disagrees with Scouting's principle of 'Duty to God,' issuing the following statement to outlets including USA Today:

"The Eagle application was forwarded, by a volunteer, to the local council but it was not approved because this young man proactively stated that he does not agree to Scouting's principle of "Duty to God" and does not meet Scouting's membership requirements. Therefore, he is not eligible to receive the rank of Eagle."

Bonnie Hazarabedian, the District Advancement Chair who headed Ryan's Eagle Board of Review, refutes that claim, however:

"Ryan did everything right in this process, with honor and honesty. He completed all of his requirements, he turned in his application along with the appropriate request for an appeal before an Eagle Board of Review, and he satisfied every member of the Board that he has earned the right to be recognized as an Eagle Scout. The Board reviewed all of Ryan's scouting history, his advancement records, his Eagle project and his spiritual beliefs, and we are convinced that Ryan has more than demonstrated that he deserves the award." (Emphasis added.)

"That BSA national executives would not only thwart the approval of, but also simultaneously lie about, the Eagle badge application of a committed young Scout is not only shocking, it's shameful," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "The organization continues to use smoke and mirrors to preserve an outdated policy that is wholly discriminatory and continues to erode the integrity of the organization."

The local Scouting community continues to stand by Ryan. Although it appears Scout Executive Fenoglio ceded to pressure from the national organization, Ryan's Scouting community -- including the official Eagle Board of Review that unanimously approved Ryan's Eagle application -- does not support discrimination.

In October 2012, Ryan's mom launched a Change.org petition calling on local Boy Scout leaders to reject the BSA's discriminatory anti-gay policy and to give Ryan the Eagle award he has earned. To date, the petition has more than 460,000 signatories.



http://www.glaad.org/blog/bsa-executives-kill-approval-gay-scouts-eagle-application-smear-teen



busypea
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Posted: 1/10/2013 11:24:31 AM
Gross.

Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident and is exactly why my gay Eagle Scout brother is now ashamed of his rank and his prior affiliation with the organization.

Peabay
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Posted: 1/10/2013 11:24:48 AM
This stuff saddens me to no end. I love the idea of the Boy Scouts, but I, in good conscience, can't support them either. And I really would like to. It's a shame.



~SuburbanMom~
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Posted: 1/10/2013 11:42:44 AM
Ryan lives in my community -- we do not participate I Boy Scouts due to their policies.



IleneTell
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Posted: 1/10/2013 11:46:50 AM



ilovebuble
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:01:57 PM
I don't buy popcorn or participate in any sort of BSA funding because of things like this. I politely refuse the children while they are selling outside of stores. I do not get into why with them, but I have told a pushy leader exactly why I wasn't buying after she insisted I purchase something.

busypea
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:03:58 PM

after she insisted I purchase something.

WTF?! Seriously??? What did she say?

batya
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:05:14 PM
Pretty much the result I expected and why I support groups that are inclusive and not exclusive. Also why I never allowed my DS to join (even if he did show an interest). What if he grew up and realized he's gay? And worked hard and was treated like this? No thanks. I'd rather he make an investment somewhere he is valued. This is deplorable but they have the right to do it. I have the right to denounce them publicly every chance I get and promote other worthy organizations in my community in their place. And I do, loud and often.


OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




mom2cameron
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:07:19 PM


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naniwebbEMT
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:07:54 PM
Rediculous!


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busypea
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:10:10 PM
batya


ilovebuble
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:13:16 PM
"These fundraisers are what allow our boys to go to camp! They are good boys, please help us!"

That sort of thing. I wasn't as rude as her, but I definitely have her a laundry list of reasons why I couldn't bring myself to buy anything. The local boy scout packs sell pumpkins at Halloween and Christmas trees in December. There's lots of opportunity for them to try and sell me something, I always say no.

IleneTell
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:15:03 PM
Are girl scouts and boy scouts connected? Do they share the same philosophy? Just wondering, TIA.



scrappower
Allons-y Alonso

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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:17:21 PM

Are girl scouts and boy scouts connected? Do they share the same philosophy? Just wondering, TIA.




No they aren't at all. Girl Scouts is completely inclusive of EVERYONE. Thank goodness.



ilovebuble
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:22:42 PM

She definitely wouldn't have wanted to hear what i would have said......kids present or not........no it wouldn't have been vulgar but more along the lines of "I'm sure they are and so is my son who just happens to be gay and not considered good enough to be part of your intolerant organization"


I let her know that my heterosexual childhood friend (among others) were so ashamed to be affiliated with the BSA that they had sent back their Eagle Awards. We grew up together, his life centered around scouts and being a representation of the organization. I still live in the same community that I grew up in so she knew exactly who I was talking about and she backed down.

I was a little embarrassed that she got me so upset but I couldn't let her keep saying those things to people as they left the store.

TinaFB
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:23:16 PM
I really admire that Board of Review for publicly bucking BSA national's policy. I am one who still believes that change will happen from within. I think that many councils are going to take similar actions or are ignoring the national policies altogether. I met with a District Commissioner of my area the other night who told me that our Council has "never denied any Scout advancement or asked any volunteer to leave because of that policy, nor do they have plans to." So basically, they're pretty much ignoring it. I wish they would now take the next step and publicly issue a statement urging BSA national to change the policies.

National continues handling the entire matter so poorly. From what I understand, they are due for a leadership change within the next year or two. The assumed next president has already said that he will work to change the discriminatory policies, so I'm really hoping that change is coming.


Tina


IleneTell
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:25:48 PM

No they aren't at all. Girl Scouts is completely inclusive of EVERYONE. Thank goodness.


Thanks! Good to know.



scrappower
Allons-y Alonso

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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:29:55 PM
Yes I am glad that the local scouting people are backing him, but it still changes nothing. This boy still worked towards this and gets nothing now. And not only nothing, but lies put out there about him. Talk about horrifying. It is bad enough to deal with the discrimination, but for the BSA national people to say he doesn't show his Duty to God is just sickening.



TinaFB
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:29:59 PM

No they aren't at all. Girl Scouts is completely inclusive of EVERYONE. Thank goodness.

Well, not everyone. They don't let boys in. BSA actually does have a mixed gender program. Their Venturing is for both girls and boys in high school to age 21.


Tina


TinaFB
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:30:59 PM

It is bad enough to deal with the discrimination, but for the BSA national people to say he doesn't show his Duty to God is just sickening.

I completely agree.


Tina


MetalDancer
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:31:31 PM
Pisses me off!! One of my life long friends (who says "I was gay before gay was cool! LOL) was an Eagle scout with the troop at my church. This was back in 1975. Shoot, we all knew he was gay, but in those days you didn't "proclaim" it I guess.

This scout troop is doing itself a complete disservice. This young man, Ryan had EARNED his award and it should be given to him. As for his "duty to God", that is between Ryan and God, not Ryan and the BSA!


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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:32:27 PM
This is one more reason why our sons will NEVER be Boy Scouts.
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:33:19 PM
While I don't agree with the position of the BSA, they have never been anything but open about their stance on gays. Not sure why it comes as such a shock to anyone.

I think those of you who feel strongly about the BSA's stance are right to do whatever you feel is necessary not to support them; but at least, in the foreseeable future, their position isn't going to change.





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scrappower
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:39:32 PM

Well, not everyone. They don't let boys in.


They actually allowed a transgendered boy in back in 2011. They had originally turned him down, but changed their minds. So who knows what is in store for the Girl Scouts in the future.



I-95
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:43:21 PM
I am so sorry to hear this. I grew up in a family that was heavily involved in scouting, and have a bunch of brothers who are Eagle Scouts.

Apart from this one, insurmountable problem, they are a fine organization, who do a lot of good for young boys/men. It hurts my heart to see them continue to be so hardline about this. It will hurt them, and drive away the very people they want, and need, to keep it a vital part of growing up. The world is changing, and they need to also.

My mom would turn over in her grave if she knew they had not softened their stance on gays. She gave 20 years to scouting, from the local pack all the way to Commissioner. This would outrage and sadden her, as it does me.

Dalai Mama
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:49:30 PM
I'll buck the trend and say that I found this story encouraging. No, he wasn't approved but he was supported locally and the District Advancement Chair spoke out publicly criticising the decision. I think that's a huge step in the right direction.


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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:51:44 PM
They are just going to become an outdated and irrelevant organization if they refuse to change.

IleneTell
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:52:55 PM

They actually allowed a transgendered boy in back in 2011. They had originally turned him down, but changed their minds. So who knows what is in store for the Girl Scouts in the future.





scrappower
Allons-y Alonso

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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:53:22 PM

I'll buck the trend and say that I found this story encouraging. No, he wasn't approved but he was supported locally and the District Advancement Chair spoke out publicly criticising the decision. I think that's a huge step in the right direction.


I hope you are right. I just am not holding my breath with the BSA, they have disappointed too many times. My DH was an Eagle Scout and he just hates all of this so very much. The lying about this child is just worse than the discrimination to me.



*Erin
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:55:05 PM
I just finished writing a letter to BSA national criticizing their anti-gay policies. If anyone else wants to write, here's the address:

National Office
Boy Scouts of America
1325 Walnut Hill Lane
P.O. Box 152079
Irving, Texas 75015-2079
972-580-2000



stittsygirl
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Posted: 1/10/2013 12:57:00 PM

No they aren't at all. Girl Scouts is completely inclusive of EVERYONE. Thank goodness.


My teen daughter's best friend in Girl Scouts is an out lesbian .

This story is sad and infuriating, but not surprising. I'll bet the BSA will only really start changing that policy after they've lost most of their corporate sponsorship, and their private sponsorship isn't enough to make up the difference anymore. Kudos to that Eagle board in general, though.




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Posted: 1/10/2013 1:00:19 PM

I am so sorry to hear this. I grew up in a family that was heavily involved in scouting, and have a bunch of brothers who are Eagle Scouts.

Apart from this one, insurmountable problem, they are a fine organization, who do a lot of good for young boys/men. It hurts my heart to see them continue to be so hardline about this. It will hurt them, and drive away the very people they want, and need, to keep it a vital part of growing up. The world is changing, and they need to also.


ITA.

My son is in Scouts - he's 9 and a Webelos. He has so much fun with the other scouts, so much fun doing the projects and activities. There's really nothing else around here like it.

I know we'll be facing discrimination if ds goes further - we aren't religious. Well, dh believes, I'm agnostic, and ds- I'm not sure what he thinks...





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Posted: 1/10/2013 1:05:02 PM

National continues handling the entire matter so poorly. From what I understand, they are due for a leadership change within the next year or two. The assumed next president has already said that he will work to change the discriminatory policies, so I'm really hoping that change is coming.


If the LDS Church and the Catholic Church withdraw their support of BSA because of changed policy, I'm not sure the organization can survive. Just LDS members make up 15% of scouts and sponsor 1/3 of all scout units in the US. It's really hard to see those numbers and think that the executive board is going to do anything to upset the apple cart.



Compwalla
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Posted: 1/10/2013 1:12:35 PM
BSA used to be supported by United Way and other funding sources but they pulled funding because of the discrimination policies. That is why so many chapters are now supported by anti-gay religious groups. If the BSA changes their discrimination policy, they would again be eligible for the funding they lost.


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sunny 5
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Posted: 1/10/2013 1:15:30 PM
I agree..until the mormons have less influence over boy scouts...it won't change. in other parts of the world, boy scouts do not discriminate...it is only the usa ones...

gs regulates appropriate behavior around girls...not who you are. and my dh was a card carrying Girl Scout adult, when our girls participated.

A Complicated Lady
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Posted: 1/10/2013 1:19:33 PM

This stuff saddens me to no end. I love the idea of the Boy Scouts, but I, in good conscience, can't support them either. And I really would like to. It's a shame.


This sums up how I feel.


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melanell
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Posted: 1/10/2013 1:56:22 PM

I love the idea of the Boy Scouts, but I, in good conscience, can't support them either.


I agree. I have 2 boys, but have never considered Boy Scouts for either of them.


While I am glad that this particular scout did get the verbal okay from local leaders, the reversal is same BS that the BSA is becoming known for. And that's sad. It could be such a great experience for so many more boys if they would be more open to all boys.



Bridget in MD
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Posted: 1/10/2013 3:43:56 PM

Pretty much the result I expected and why I support groups that are inclusive and not exclusive. Also why I never allowed my DS to join (even if he did show an interest). What if he grew up and realized he's gay? And worked hard and was treated like this? No thanks. I'd rather he make an investment somewhere he is valued. This is deplorable but they have the right to do it. I have the right to denounce them publicly every chance I get and promote other worthy organizations in my community in their place. And I do, loud and often.


I feel this way too but I also have a 1st grader who really wanted to join cub scouts this year. He doesn't understand what this is about, but we will talk about it when he is older, and if he decides to continue too... I've followed this story, as a matter of fact we watched him when he was on Ellen... but I can tell it's completely over my son's head. I am hoping to teach him so maybe one day, he'll get to *be* the change in this organization... and fight for equality. That same show, they flashed a picture of Ellen & Portia, and my son said, how come she married a lady? and I told him because that's who she loves! and he totally accepted it.


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Posted: 1/10/2013 4:46:11 PM
Aw, dang it. I was hoping he would be approved.


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Gennifer
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Posted: 1/10/2013 5:31:00 PM

I love the idea of the Boy Scouts, but I, in good conscience, can't support them either.
Exactly.

Not sure why it comes as such a shock to anyone.
Who says they're shocked? I'm not. Disappointed in them, yes. Sad for my son, who wants to participate, but isn't allowed to (by me) because of their stance. Ashamed that there are people living in the same world I do who act like this.

But, shocked? No.



ilovecookies
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Posted: 1/10/2013 5:59:21 PM

This stuff saddens me to no end. I love the idea of the Boy Scouts, but I, in good conscience, can't support them either. And I really would like to. It's a shame.



ITA

tamhugh
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Posted: 1/10/2013 6:15:03 PM

While I don't agree with the position of the BSA, they have never been anything but open about their stance on gays. Not sure why it comes as such a shock to anyone.



I agree, however.... My problem with this case (unless I am remembering a different one) is that this young man was already out before he did his project and filed all of his paperwork to become an Eagle. If the organization wasn't going to accept him, he should have been told then, before he did all the work. If you haven't been through the process, you might not realize the amount of steps you have to take. Each one of those steps has to be approved by boards and committees. If his sexuality was going to be held against him, he should have been told in the early steps, not after he completed everything.

As a side note, DS had his Eagle COH last year. I am 99.9% sure that one of the boys who got it at the same time is gay and he is one of the most well-liked, successful boys in the troop. DS says that it is just an accepted fact and no one really cares.

Emelle64
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Posted: 1/10/2013 6:19:18 PM
I am surprised when I read things like this because our experience of boy scouts in Canada has been quite different. I wonder how closely boy scouts in Canada follow the BSA's rules. My son's Beaver leader (that's the first group for grades K-2) was the most fabulous leader ever and he was openly gay. Infact, the first year my son was involved this guy was on parental leave from his job because he and his partner had just adopted 2 children. I didn't know at first but eventually I clued in as did the other parents but I really don't think anyone gave it a second thought. It just wasn't an issue.

Emelle

Skybar
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Posted: 1/10/2013 6:20:01 PM

it was not approved because this young man proactively stated that he does not agree to Scouting's principle of "Duty to God" and does not meet Scouting's membership requirements. Therefore, he is not eligible to receive the rank of Eagle."

he doesn't agree with their BASIC principle but wanted their hightest award?

WHY was he even in the BSA then?

geeze!


My son didn't "grow up" to be gay, even though we don't know these things then he has been gay since he was born

you have some medical proof of that?


so much for those of you who spout acceptance and tolerance of others - but DON'T tolerate the beliefs of others.

you don't believe in God, fine - then stay away from things that revolve around Him - like the BS and marriage.

you make up a good list of God/Christian haters.




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moodyblue
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Posted: 1/10/2013 6:21:38 PM

This stuff saddens me to no end. I love the idea of the Boy Scouts, but I, in good conscience, can't support them either. And I really would like to. It's a shame.


I feel the same way.

And the lying about the young man just makes it worse.

scrappower
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Posted: 1/10/2013 6:22:11 PM

he doesn't agree with their BASIC principle but wanted their hightest award?


Um no skybar, they LIED about that. Re-read the article.


you don't believe in God, fine - then stay away from things that revolve around Him - like the BS and marriage.


FFS.



TinCin
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 29,331
February 2002
Posts: 6,720
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Loc: Living in the palm of the hand.

Posted: 1/10/2013 6:35:36 PM
I am not surprised by the BSA, I am just surprised that other people are. I haven't supported the scouts in years because of this very policy. Couple it with their cover ups of adult men who molested and raped young scouts and I find the whole organization disgraceful.


PROUD MEMBER OF UAW LOCAL 659 - Home of the Sit-Down Strike!

scrappower
Allons-y Alonso

PeaNut 174,150
October 2004
Posts: 15,754
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Posted: 1/10/2013 6:37:07 PM
I am not shocked or surprised about the refusal of his Eagle, but I am shocked by the lying and slandering of this young man.



*~*amanda*~*
...

PeaNut 393,905
October 2008
Posts: 7,415
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Loc: Illinois

Posted: 1/10/2013 6:38:37 PM
Im not trying to be argumentative, but how do we know that he was denied solely because he is gay? In the story I saw where the parents said that's the reason but is it *really* the reason or is that what the parents are feeling?

Is there more to the part of the story about him not fulfilling the religious aspect of the Eagle requirements? If he did not fulfill those obligations then he has not met the requirements for Eagle scout.



ilovecookies
PeaFixture

PeaNut 506,197
April 2011
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Posted: 1/10/2013 6:43:34 PM

Couple it with their cover ups of adult men who molested and raped young scouts and I find the whole organization disgraceful.


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