Eagle Scouts of America: Petition to Repeal Ban on Gays
To Bob Mazzuca, Wayne Brock, Rex Tillerson, and the National Council,
We, the Eagle Scouts who have put our name to this letter, wish to address your recent decision to affirm a ban on gay scouts and scout leaders from our ranks. As a collective whole, we have been fortunate enough to participate in the Boy Scouts program which included service to our communities; growth in disciplines vital to a young boy; and most relevant to this issue, learning how to interact with young men with different cultural backgrounds and ways of life. We come from many different faiths, assume varied political stances, and are of many ethnic backgrounds. After our Scouting experience, we continue to serve our country in business, government, the military, nonprofits, education, public health, and in many more ways. Many of us are straight, some of us are gay, but all of us are proud to carry the title of Eagle Scout for the rest of our lives.
We understand that gays have not been openly welcome in Scouts for over 100 years, but we believe that times have changed, and it is time for the BSA to change as well. We understand that the BSA has been reviewing this policy internally for the past two years and the decision comes as the BSA looks at its membership and donor base. However, we believe that the decision to allow gays in Scouting is independent of one's religious or moral beliefs. Just as the BSA allows members with conflicting religious beliefs, they should also allow openly gay scouts and leaders.
An obligation of the Eagle Scout is to be courageous. As stated in the Eagle Scout Charge "bravery means not only the courage to face physical danger, but the determination to stand up for what is right." At a time when many tragedies occur because of hatred and intolerance of other's beliefs, it is important now more than ever to educate young men on the necessity of accepting other ways of life, regardless of their own beliefs.
Every young man will have to make their own decision on their views on homosexuality. The BSA will not be able to, and should not try to, affect those views. One thing that BSA can affect, however, is fostering a generation of young men who practice tolerance in their every day life.
We stand together and call on each of you to use this opportunity to show young men, Boy Scouts, and the world the importance of tolerance by allowing openly gay scouts and scout leaders in the BSA by repealing the recently affirmed ban.
The following Eagle Scouts of America,
[Please note: this letter was originally drafted by Luke Beckman. His personal thoughts on this issue can be found here.
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