Ryan Andresen of Troop 212 in Morgara, Calif., has been a Boy Scout for 12 years. He stayed with the organization even after coming out as gay at 16. But he was denied the chance to rise rank to an Eagle Scout.
The Boy Scouts of America’s decision was consistent with its “Youth Leadership” policy statement: “In the unlikely event that an older boy were to hold himself out as homosexual, he would not be able to continue in a youth leadership position.”
Andresen told Yahoo! his scoutmaster knew he was gay.
Andresen’s project to become an Eagle Scout involved building a Tolerance Wall at a middle school. He collected 288 ceramic tiles with anti-bullying messages.
Andresen’s mother has now set up a Change.org petition to urge individual troops to reject the Boy Scouts’ policy.
As of Friday afternoon, there were more than 143,500 signatures.