SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (CBS SEATTLE) — Another controversy involving homosexuality is shaking the Boy Scouts of America.
New allegations are coming from Ryan Andresen, a scout for the past 12 years who is claiming his homosexuality is preventing him from participating in the BSA. In July, the organization announced that it plans to continue its ban on gay membership after a two-year review of the divisive policy.
Ryan is claiming that, despite more than a decade of service in the scouts, he is being denied the group’s highest honor — the Eagle Award — because he is gay. The San Francisco resident says that he recently finished an extensive service project that was required in order for him to receive the award, however his troop leader is allegedly refusing to grant him the honor.
“He said he can’t because Ryan said he is gay,” explained Karen Andresen, the boy’s mother, to The Blaze.
Ryan claims that his scoutmaster has known about his sexual orientation for quite some time. In fact, he says that it was a point of discussion and that the local leader told him that they would, “get by the gay thing.” Ryan told Yahoo! News that he is devastated by the refusal to grant the award.
“It was by far the biggest goal of my life,” he told Yahoo! News. “It’s totally devastating.”
Troop 212′s leaders did not respond to requests by media, but a national spokesperson for the BSA did put out a statement regarding the matter. Deron Smith, an official representative for the group, said that Ryan contributed to the current situation by openly stating that he is opposed to the BSA’s religious stance.
“Recently, a Scout proactively notified his unit leadership and Eagle Scout Counselor that he does not agree to Scouting‘s principle of ’Duty to God‘ and does not meet Scouting’s membership standard on sexual orientation,” smith wrote to Yahoo! News. “While the BSA did not proactively ask for this information, based on his statements and after discussion with his family he is being informed that he is no longer eligible for membership in Scouting.”
While some may disagree with the BSA’s actions, the group maintains a strong allegiance to faith and, thus, opposes gay membership.
According to their website, the Boy Scouts of America provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness.