Update, Jan. 9, 2013, 2:41 p.m.: According to ABC News, Ryan Andresen will not be granted the Eagle Scout rank, national Boy Scouts of America officials said. Read more at ABC News…
California gay Boy Scout Ryan Andresen made national headlines last year, even appearing on the Ellen Show, after his scoutmaster refused to sign off on his Eagle Scout rank. Andresen had successfully completed all the requirements for the rank, the highest award given to Boy Scout members, but after coming out, his scoutmaster refused.
Today, the local council has decided to grant Andresen the award. The decision places the local council in direct violation of national Boy Scouts of America policies banning membership and leadership by openly gay youth and adults.
A California chapter of the Boy Scouts of America is directly challenging the national organization’s ban on gays by formally recommending that an openly gay former Scout be awarded the top rank of Eagle.
“From what I understand, this has never happened before,” Eric Andresen, father of former scout Ryan Andresen, told Reuters.
“It’s the first in-your-face (challenge),” said Bonnie Hazarabedian, who chaired the Boy Scout district review board that signed off on Ryan’s Eagle scout application and forwarded its recommendation last week to the national headquarters for final approval.
Ryan, 18, and his parents drew national attention in October after his Scoutmaster refused to sign his Eagle scout application because of his sexual orientation.
More than 462,000 people subsequently signed the Andresens’ petitions at Change.org calling on the Scoutmaster to sign. Meanwhile, the Andresens pushed Ryan’s application up the Boy Scout hierarchy in the San Francisco Bay area, where it landed before Hazarabedian.