Ryan Andresen had recently completed the requirements to earning his Eagle Scout award, including building a "tolerance wall" for victims of bullying like himself, but his Scoutmaster would not sign off on honoring him with the Boy Scouts’ highest ranking because he is gay, his mother said.
The Boy Scouts of America have a longstanding policy denying membership to gay leaders and Scouts, which they reaffirmed earlier this year after a two-year confidential review of the controversial ban.
Andresen’s father, Eric, resigned as an assistant Scoutmaster after the Scoutmaster for Troop 212 in Moraga, Calif., confirmed Tuesday night that Ryan wouldn’t get the award, Karen Andresen told NBC News.
“I want everyone to know that [the Eagle award] should be based on accomplishment, not your sexual orientation. Ryan entered Scouts when he was six years old and in no way knew what he was," said Karen Andresen, 49, a stay-at-home mother of three.
"I think right now the Scoutmaster is sending Ryan the message that he’s not a valued human being and I want Ryan to know that he is valued … and that people care about him.”
Ryan, 17, came out in July. Andresen said Scoutmaster Rainer Del Valle knew about Ryan's sexual orientation and they had no idea he wouldn't sign off on the official paperwork.
It was “a total shock," she said, adding that Ryan was led all along to believe he would be able to get the award.
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