by Leah Waldron
The Boy Scouts of America has outdone itself—and just went you thought the douchebaggery was at its peak. Just two days after Karen Andresen started a Change.org petition to help her gay son (18-year-old Ryan Andresen) get his Eagle Scout award after a decade-plus commitment, the organization not only refused to give Ryan the rank (no surprise there), but kicked the poor kid out, altogether. So not only is the BSA against gay scout leaders, but gay scouts.
That’s right. The BSA will kick out a gay kid now—even if he’s not in a leadership role.
So why is the BSA picking on this particular San Francisco-area family? I’m willing to bet that the BSA took this extreme measure because of the petition—the last in a series of Change.org attempts– pushed them to the point of fury. Karen Andresen’s petition, titled “Boy Scouts: Don’t let your anti-gay policy deny my son his Eagle award,” has received monumental support in record time—over 350,000 signatures in less than a week. This may have been the last straw for the struggling corporation, which has seen its share of bad publicity. This summer, former Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, the son of lesbian parents and a man who has made a career out of reversing the BSA’s gay leader ban, turned in a similar petition, and has been credited with convincing Intel—one of the organization’s largest donors—to pull all future funding. Now he’s working on another big donor: UPS.
If the BSA hates anyone, it’s Zach Wahls. But you don’t see them pulling his membership out from under him.
There’s no doubt that the Andresen’s petition did not sit well with the BSA, so their next move—Ryan guest starring on “The Ellen Show” this Thursday—should really piss them off. Not only is Ellen’s audience is made up of quite a few conservative, Midwestern women, but the nationwide, televised event should really “out” the organization for its bigotry once and for all. After all, when Ellen gets political, you know its going to affect people on both sides of the aisle. “The Ellen Show” doesn’t try to be “The Rachel Maddow Show,” but it knows how to pull at your heart strings.
Until the BSA reverses its gay leader ban (and stops discriminating against children who may be gay), new and existing members will be at risk. And since most gay boys realize that they are gay around six or seven years old (girls, 11 or 12), there’s literally hundreds of thousands of Scouts that may be kicked out in the coming years—just because they don’t fit the BSA’s idea of honor. I’m willing to bet that Ryan Andresen’s family, alongside the unstoppable Zach Wahls, is going to change that.
The Ellen Show