East Bay gay Boy Scout delivers petitions signed by 400,000 demanding he be given Eagle Scout award Comments on Stories, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on Oct 19, 2012 at 8:32 am
A local Boy Scout who has drawn national attention after recently being kicked out of his troop because he is gay delivered a petition with more than 400,000 signatures to troop leaders Thursday demanding he receive the Eagle Award he earned.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 19, 2012, 7:38 AM
Posted by mrs. mittens, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 19, 2012 at 8:32 am
"The sad truth is, Ryan's situation is not unique," she said. "Countless Scouts have been removed from Scouting, simply for being honest with themselves and other Scouts."
Did he not read the scout oath and bylaws before signing up? Or, is he just 'special' and the rules shouldn't apply to him? His pursuit is fruitless......I'm sure his (Word removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff) mom is enjoying all this attention she's bringing to herself and her son.
Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Oct 19, 2012 at 9:38 am liberalism is a disease is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
How so? Are you saying that PBS can't survive without it's govt subsidy? Even though PBS leans left, they can't survive without taking taxpayer funds from all of us? If their programming is really that vaulable, donors can cotninue to support PBS and can make up for the taxpayer confiscated funds.
Why would the Boy Scouts be history when Romney is elected? Do you also believe the sea levels will rise, since obama has done such a good job taxing and regulating mother nature?
Posted by LMK, a resident of the Ironwood neighborhood, on Oct 19, 2012 at 10:24 am
The Boy Scouts is a private organization and is not subject to pubic laws on membership. Morality and dutiful to God are godly principles. The Boy Scout Law also says to be morally straight. For those who do not know what the Bible says about morality read what it says to find out what God says about morality and duty to God.
There is nothing in the Boy Scout Law that says this young man can't start his own organization. Why try to force his own practices where they are not wanted?
Posted by well, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 19, 2012 at 11:22 am
If you've seen the recent news about the Boy Scouts, it sounds like there were a number of troop leaders who molested boys, so I guess they were gay too. And the organization didn't even report some of them to the police. And when they did, it was sometimes covered up to preserve the reputation of scouting.
So I'm surprised they can't handle a child who is gay and who has earned his award.
Posted by Look Beyond the Media Bias, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm
The media continues to lead the charge against the Boy Scouts, without reporting the full details. The gay issue & Scouting has been widely known - particularly in the Bay Area - since the 1970's. What level of responsibility does his parents have, since they placed him in Scouting 12 years ago, and continued him in the program as he grew up. It is tragic that the Scouts have documented files on some 1,200 possible sexual misconducts by Scout leaders over the past 50 years. However, given the milions of adult Scouting leaders in the past 50 years, these 1,200 cases represent less than .002% of Scouting's leaders. Sexual misconduct cases in the general population and in many other youth organizations is much greater than Scouting's .002% rate. Additionally, the media does not point out that in 1957 youth serving organizations did not have massive computer services to report and track sex offenders. Scouting's Child Protection programs are cited by experts as being the best in America. While it's tragic that any adults prey on children, we will not see real statistics or a balanced story in the local media!
Posted by Stop Bashing Scouts, a resident of the Carriage Gardens neighborhood, on Oct 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm
The Boy Scout organization promotes certain well-founded and Biblical morals. These include not engaging in homosexual activities, and the prohibition applies to both scouts and their leaders. This person chooses not to follow these standards. He needs to find a different organization to be part of. He is also free to seek help in changing both his behavior and his mental orientation toward these activities. The choice is his.
Posted by LMK, a resident of the Ironwood neighborhood, on Oct 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm
If anyone is free of faults, sin or misconduct pick up your stone and go at it, but don't be surprised if you find a stone on your head as well.
No one is saying the Boy Scouts is perfect or that there weren't misconducts, abuse etc. NOT everyone in the Boy Scouts is a homophobic, a child molester or what ever you think they might be. Many, many boys and men have lived up to the standards that have been induced to give american boys a place to belong, to learn, to have a brotherhood and a respect for others, their country and their God, not some "higher power".
If anyone does not like what the Boy Scouts do, or believe, create your own organization. No one is forced to follow their standards, its a membership.
Live in peace with your choices and with other people's choices to choose what they believe in or not.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Oct 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm
I'm a non-LGBT Eagle Scout, and no one, neither leader nor fellow scout, ever bothered me during my time in the organization. I guess everyone concerned was focused on the content of the organization when we were together - learning the skills that earned you the merit badges, hiking and camping, volunteer work on Saturdays - rather than on what we did when we weren't together.
I feel the Scouts should be non-exclusive because race, religion, creed, gender and orientation have nothing to do with finding north without a compass, making a fire without matches, saving a drowning swimmer or delivering hot meals to the homeless. On the other hand, I don't think that every organization necessarily has to be involved in every cause. I hope the kid gets Eagle because he earned it; but if the kid and his mom orchestrated this as a test case, I feel sorry for the principles because the spotlight is one of society's least loyal inventions.
Posted by LMK, a resident of the Ironwood neighborhood, on Oct 19, 2012 at 5:12 pm
I appreciate your comments Mike but the young man lied about who he is and it is breach of the pledge he stated while in Scouts regarding honesty. It's like giving an A on the test to a cheater. This young man may have passed all his tests but he failed having integrity which is the highest of strengths a man can have. I hope he learns from all of this and not just try to strong arm the Boy Scouts. Where would the integrity be in that?
Posted by Julie Testa, a resident of the Vineyard Hills neighborhood, on Oct 20, 2012 at 9:50 am
A person does not choose to be gay and should not be made to feel ashamed for who they were born to be. Ryan has earned his Eagle and deserves his award. It is sad that people who are otherwise good people are so ignorant and cruel. I signed the petition.
Posted by wh wha what?, a resident of the Canyon Oaks neighborhood, on Oct 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm
lisa and julie obviously know nothing of the boy scout organization. you merely see a poor, persecuted gay and hop on the bandwagon. yes, the boy did the required tasks to earn his eagle scout award, but the greater idea is that the eagle scout is the highest honor in the boy scouts. eagle scouts serve as torch carriers of the boy scout beliefs. they simply cannot give someone who does not subscribe to their tenants this award. they want eagle scouts to represent the beliefs of the organization as a whole. it would be like the catholic church making a muslim a priest.
i applaud the boy scouts, not because they are taking a stand against gays, but because they are sticking to their beliefs, whatever they may be. you don't like those beliefs? don't join their organization.
Posted by Find more truth, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Oct 20, 2012 at 5:53 pm
Take the time to view the Warren Report. This report was done by the expert who reviewed all 1,200 files in detail. The media should read this report & find that in 68% of the cases, the Boy Scouts helped prosecute the sexual offenders! Over 95% of the people in these files were clearly banned from further participation in Scouting. In many instances, Scouting turned the matter over to local law enforcement, who decided whether to prosecute or not. Also of note was that many of these cases were not a male adult abusing a young man, but adults with adults (men & women) engaging in activities that Scouting did not approve of. It is sad that some Scouting volunteers and professionals failed in their duty to protect children. However, millions of Scout leaders have served admirably. Leave it to the media to focus on the few failures.
Regarding the local young man's reported 400,000 signatures in support of him being given an Eagle medal, of note is that these signatures were generated from a pro-gay website. We would be surprised if he didn't get so many signatures from this web site. Again, what role did his parents play in sending him down the Scouting trail for so many years? They knowingly drove him down a road that had clearly stated "one way" street. Also, the Scouts didn't ask him if he was gay, he and his family made it the issue.
Posted by Julie Testa, a resident of the Vineyard Hills neighborhood, on Oct 20, 2012 at 6:19 pm
There was a time when people justified banning blacks, Italians, Irish, Jews or woman from organizations. This year Augusta National Golf Club admitted two women as members after 80 years of banning women. We applaud our more enlightened society. Today only gay children are allowed to be banned from this 'All American' national organization.
I know Boy Scouts well, my son's were scouts, I was a den leader. It is a good organization, but this is truly shameful.
Posted by Retired Social Worker, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 20, 2012 at 7:31 pm
Most people are NOT born gay! Many CHOOSE to be gay for different reasons. My cousin chose to become a lesbian, only AFTER her Mother had her abort and Kill the Baby she was carring from the boy she loved. She truly loved this young man. She lived with a broken heart turning to women and drugs for comfort. Finally, in her early 20's, she walked onto the freeway and ended her life. I knew my cousin and prior to obeying her Mom's wishes (and without my uncle's knowledge) she was NEVER gay. I know of many of these kind of circumstances. NOT all people are born lesbian or gay. Most aren't. What an excuse. You are swimming in Koolaid. Don't even try to justify your beliefs!
Posted by once again..., a member of the Pleasanton Middle School community, on Oct 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm
julie, "my sons were boy scouts" can mean many different things. it can mean your boys were in cub scouts for a year all the way up to your boys were eagle scouts. i tend to believe your case is closer to the former (if not exactly). in any event, guess what? the same thing would have happened back then in your troop as what's happening today. does that make you more "enlightened" that you now see the error of those ways? absolutely not. it just means your views have changed for whatever reason. so spare us your self enlightenment crap. not all of us flip flop on major social issues and thankfully, neither do the boy scouts.
Posted by john, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 20, 2012 at 10:24 pm
The Boy Scouts of America is a wonderful organization. My father was an Eagle Scout, and my son is well on his way. Healthy organizations evolve (just like life on planet earth). It is time for Boy Scouts of America to embrace gay scouts. Some of us older people may not like change (do we ever), but it is coming, thank goodness.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 21, 2012 at 7:39 am
I do not agree with the policy of the Boy Scouts, but come one, each organization has the right to set its own rules.
The catholic church for instance does not condone abortion, or gay marriage, are we supposed to force it to change its views? NO, as a former catholic who did not agree with those views, I simply quit going to church.
Same with boy scouts: if you do not agree or like their rules, do not join! It is so simple.
My neighbor's son quit boy scouts because he did not agree with some of the rules - he is not gay or atheist but did not like a group of closed minded individuals, so he quit. We no longer support boy scout fundraisers of any kind. But from that to asking boy scout to change their rules? No, if you do not like their rules, do not join, and do not support the organization.
That said, the president of the US should not support such an organization.
Posted by Julie Testa, a resident of the Vineyard Hills neighborhood, on Oct 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm
"I do not agree with the policy of the Boy Scouts, but come on, each organization has the right to set its own rules."
Could anyone make that argument if the ban was on only Irish boys, or only Catholic boys?
I have watched many kids grow up along side my children, some who you could see at an early age were likely gay long before sex entered into their consciousness. I absolutely believe they had no more choice than I had to have green eyes. I say that without judgment, just like most people are born right handed but some are born left handed.
I have always held this belief and I made a commitment long ago to not be anonymous on this issue.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 21, 2012 at 6:41 pm
"Could anyone make that argument if the ban was on only Irish boys, or only Catholic boys?"
I think it is different. But if you think about it, there are organizations that give scholarships only to members of certain races (like chinese or african american), and it is their right to do so, and it does not mean they are not complying with existing laws. Are we to force them to start giving scholarships to all students who apply regardless of their race requirement? I don't think so.
Boy scouts have their rules, and like some churches, they have the right to say no to gays (just like they say no to girls - not talking about venturing). Episcopalians for instance, accept gay marriages and women ministers, something you do not see in the catholic church. Neither church is better than the other, they are simply exercising their rights to establish their own rules - Boy scouts should be no different.
Again, I oppose such backwards views but do not feel that the boy scouts should be forced to change their rules to accommodate those who disagree with them and who challenge them.
This boy's challenge of this rule reminds me of the Sandra Fluke challenge of the policy of an institution which is catholic and whose rules she knew before she decided to attend (as a woman who has liberal views on social issues, I highly disagree with Fluke's position).
"I have always held this belief and I made a commitment long ago to not be anonymous on this issue"
I know, you have always used your name for different issues and I have always admired how you do that even if it means having people criticize you (like the time about the board member who was no longer a pleasanton resident).
I am not as strong as you so I choose to remain anonymous.
Posted by Julie Testa, a resident of the Vineyard Hills neighborhood, on Oct 22, 2012 at 10:09 am
I regret my Augusta analogy and 'enlightened society' was tongue in cheek.
Let's use the obvious example. If the ban was against black children 'only' there would be a moral outcry. Rightfully so, with little exception we agree as a nation that was a shameful part of our history. Private businesses can no longer get away with that kind of discrimination. This is not an emphasis on one group it is an exclusion of one group. This is a cruel level of discrimination that if excused, especially by people who say they do not support it, will not be forced to change.
I support the opportunity to post anonymously as long as the discussion is civil, it is not fun to wear a target. That previous reference was directed at another post, but thanks.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 22, 2012 at 4:38 pm
"Let's use the obvious example. If the ban was against black children 'only' there would be a moral outcry. Rightfully so, with little exception we agree as a nation that was a shameful part of our history. Private businesses can no longer get away with that kind of discrimination"
I see your point, but unfortunately, our society has not accepted gays fully. The federal government discriminates against gays (no federal benefits for same sex marriage for instance) but not against blacks or hispanics or chinese or any other race.
Thanks to Loving, we now have the legal right to interracial marriages, but we still do not have the legal right to same sex marriages.
So I think that excluding gays from an organization such as boy scouts is a right that organization has (as much as I dislike their policy). It is their right just like it is the right of the catholic church to discriminate against say women for high ranking positions (no woman can aspire to be the Pope), or against gays (an openly gay person would not be allowed to be a priest).
If we were to force the boy scouts to accept gays, where do we draw the line? Force the catholic church to allow women to be a Pope? Force other churches to accept gays as ministers? No, that should be up to each organization, imo.
I do think that the president of the US should stop his support of boy scouts, in a very public way. Then it would be up to boy scouts to either change their backwards ways or continue but without the support of the president, or governors or any government official.
I think this boy is lobbying the wrong people. He should lobby Washington to stop its support of boy scouts and he should try to change the way the federal government discriminates against gays.
Being a boy scout is not a right, and just like girls cannot be boy scouts, or a 55 year old cannot be a tenderfoot, gays are excluded. Does this mean discrimination on the basis of gender or age? No, it is just the way the boy scouts operate.
Posted by Julie Testa, a resident of the Vineyard Hills neighborhood, on Oct 22, 2012 at 6:19 pm
I appreciate your thoughts but apparently we were all wrong. BSA does not ban gay scouts. BSA does ban gay scouts from holding leadership positions and they ban openly homosexual Scout leaders.
2012 Presidential candidates - Barack Obama and Mitt Romney - have both renounced the BSA's policy on sexual orientation.
The BSA receives no taxpayer funds.
There are indirect benefits afforded to the BSA, such as the ability to use schools and public lands throughout the US.
I continue my advocacy for equality for persons who are gay, and support Ryan's efforts to receive his Eagle. Many past Eagle recipients have returned their awards in protest of BSA policy. Clearly Ryan sacrificed his to stand up for what he believes may support future scouts. He has shown his courage in doing so.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm
" BSA does not ban gay scouts. BSA does ban gay scouts from holding leadership positions and they ban openly homosexual Scout leaders."
And that is not that different from how some churches operate. The catholic church does not ban women from their faith but they ban women from holding high ranking positions so no woman would ever be a priest or the Pope. Is that discrimination on the basis of gender? No, just like imo, the boy scouts are not discriminating on the basis of sexual preference - they are just exercising their rights as an organization to set their own rules.
"There are indirect benefits afforded to the BSA, such as the ability to use schools and public lands throughout the US."
And that would be the best way to send a loud message to boy scouts: to discontinue that support, as was done by a NJ school:
"Golda Och Academy has announced that it will not renew its Boy Scout charter for 2013 because of the national Scouting organizationís policy excluding gay and lesbian adults from leadership positions."
" Barack Obama and Mitt Romney - have both renounced the BSA's policy on sexual orientation."
I could be wrong, but I believe Obama's signature still appears on Eagle Scouts certificates. I think that Obama and every president from here on, should refuse to sign the certificates until the BSA revises their policy. That way, if the BSA chooses to continue with their backwards policies, they would do so knowing there is no support of any kind from the president (and no signatures on the eagle scout certificates) and that if they want that support, they musst change - up to them.
"I continue my advocacy for equality for persons who are gay, and support Ryan's efforts to receive his Eagle"
That is great but I still believe the lobbying should be done at the federal level.
See, once the federal govt starts recognizing same sex marriage, giving benefits to same sex partners, I think we would see change in many organizations including BSA.
Changing BSA would not change the bigger issue: equality for same sex couples which means that gays at that point would have acquired full rights as it should be. The NY appeals court has already taken a step in the right direction (by ruling that DOMA is unconstitutional)
So I still think that the BSA have the right to have the policy they want, and the only way to bring change is to stop the support of BSA, and by making sure the federal government gives gays the full rights they deserve.
Those who agree with the BSA can continue their support and being members, just like those who agree with the catholic church continue supporting it and being a part of it. Those who don't like it can quit scouts (like my neighbor's son) or quit being catholic (like I did).