Mom Says Gay Moraga Teen Denied Eagle Scout Opportunity

Update: Change.org petition urges Moraga troop to reject Boy Scouts 'discriminatory policy.' Ryan Andresen's Eagle Scout project is a 288-tile wall of tolerance at Joaquin Moraga Middle School.


Update, 12:25 p.m. Thursday, added photos of wall of tolerance at Joaquin Moraga Middle School.

When Ryan Andresen completed a 288-tile wall of tolerance at Joaquin Moraga Middle School last month, he thought he had met the requirements to become an Eagle Scout.

But, according to his mother, the scoutmaster of Ryan's Moraga Boy Scout troop is refusing to sign off on the project because Ryan is gay. "We are all just in shock," said Ryan's mother, Karen Andresen.

The family has a petition drawing international attention on Change.org urging the leaders of the local troop to reject the Boy Scouts of America's "discriminatory anti-gay policy" and give Ryan Andresen the Eagle award. Ryan is a senior at Maybeck High School in Berkeley.

"It hurts me so much to watch Ryan suffer for being who he is, because to me, he's perfect," said Karen Andresen.

Ryan's father, Eric Andresen, used to do the bookkeeping for Troop 212. He resigned on Tuesday, Karen Andresen said, after Scoutmaster Ranier del Valle reaffirmed his refusal to sign off on Ryan's project.

Patch is trying to reach del Valle for comment.

Karen Andresen said that Ryan came out to his family two years ago. The idea for the wall of tolerance was a result of the bullying he experienced at school and in the Boy Scouts.

Ryan Andresen hopes to attend the University of San Francisco.

"Many troops around the country are standing up, choosing to reject the Boy Scouts' discriminatory policy," the petition statement by Karen Andresen reads. "I sincerely hope that Ryan's troop — Troop 212 — will become one of them."

The Boy Scouts of America has policies that prohibit "open or avowed" homosexual people from membership
in its Scouting program, as well as atheists and agnostics, according to Wikipedia.

One petition signer from overseas wrote on Change.org said he signed "because I am a member of the Boy Scouts in the UK and discrimination is the very thing we are taught against! Scouts are supposed to HONOUR people with ALL their differences. Not treat them like filth."

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Jordy Corvette October 04, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Like it or not homos, you will be treated differently because you made the decision to be different.
Carey Sanchez Para October 04, 2012 at 10:08 PM
It is unfortunate that some people still do not understand that being gay is NOT a lifestyle choice. That ignorance is further promoted by the BSA through their discriminatory policies. Since when does a youth's sexuality make them qualified ir disqualified to become an Eagle Scout? This is nonsense. Time to evolve folks!
Stephen R. Cohen October 05, 2012 at 05:47 AM
Stephen R. Cohen Attorney Los Angeles This is wrong! I think Ryan should sue. This is no different than religious, racial or other types of discrimination. Are the scouts receiving any aid from the state, city or county, if so it should be cut off. Frankly I always thought the idea of the scouts was to train young boys how to be good people. I think Ryan has demonstrated the heart and soul of being honest and true and deserves the respect of being an Eagle Scout.
RANDY ELDRIDGE October 05, 2012 at 11:22 AM
well he did the work he deserves a sign off i am a former boy scout. he has to petition the local council. and then the national chief. and last the president of the united states cause the president is also president of the boy scouts. so petition obama. last he can transfer to another troop and have someone else give him the sign offs. his mom to me should of used her head instead of flagging to the media. she should of went to the sfbac and gotten complaint info and filed discrimination against the troop. this should of been closed door issue. BIG RANDY ELDRIDGE HAYWARD CA USA
Jay Christensen October 05, 2012 at 06:16 PM
The Boy Scouts need to change. Most of us have evolved and support universal rights. I salute this boy and his mom who are bringing attention to injustice. Public pressure is the only way to change organizations like the Boy Scouts.


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