Mom Says Gay 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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Renee Bartina October 05, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Has anyone thought that his project IS NOT eagle scout material??!! He made a wall with words on it. My 4 year old can do that. Of course BECAUSE he's gay, his family feels that he should get special treatment and get away with doing a project a pre-schooler could do. COME ON!! I'm sure if he did a real project, he may get the award but then again, rules are rules. Why does everything have to change in society so that nobody gets their feelings hurt?! Grow up and suck it up and press on like everyone else.
Thomas Clarke October 06, 2012 at 01:36 AM
If the Scoutmaster, Troop Committee, District Eagle Board and the Council Eagle Board all approved the project then this is out and out wrong and discriminatory and Scouting should be taken to task for it. However I suspect that there is something else a foot here. Ryan efforted on his own to do the project which he believes is in keeping with the purpose of the project, except he did not get approval to do it and he has chosen a political issue and he did not provide the appropriate planning, direction of others and the benefit to the community. His Mom and Dad are acting like Helicopter Parents and doing everything they can to get their son the award. I suspect the Scoutmaster has endured this for a long time and said no to the project. If all that is true, the Scoutmaster should be commended and the parents castigated. Ryan still has time to do a proper project. When I did mine I created elementary school libraries in four schools, got the books donated, created the systems for loaning the books and coordinated the staffing of the four branches during school hours with students from the upper grades in the associated schools. I grant you this was 1966, but that was an Eagle Project. Incidentally the libaries lasted through the mid-Seventies when the School District took over the operation in 1973.
Fred Eiger October 06, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Exactly, this was all a set up.
Ken Briggs October 08, 2012 at 12:15 AM
mom and dad should sue the scoutmaster . how does this young boy realy knows heis gay ? who the hell told him that he is gay ? the scoutmaster is not a doctor, so maybe the scoutmaster can tell us all when this all started . just because he is not with a girl friend and doing his school work maybe he does not care about chaseing girls right now . give him support,
Fred Eiger October 08, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Ken the kids and parents are open about this kids being "gay". It sounds like a politically charged agenda here.


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