Overturn ban on gay scouts
  • Petitioned John Fenoglio, Scout Executive

This petition was delivered to:

Mount Diablo Silverado Council
John Fenoglio, Scout Executive

Overturn ban on gay scouts

    1. Karen Andresen
    2. Petition by

      Karen Andresen

      Moraga, CA

May 2013


On Thursday, May 23 2013, the Boy Scouts of America's National Council voted to end the ban on gay youth after more than 479,000 people signed my petition on Change.org. On behalf of my our family, I would like to thank everyone who supported this campaign. This means that kids like Ryan will not be kicked out of an organization that they love, simply for saying they are gay. It also means that they can be honest and not hide who they are. Although Ryan might not get his Eagle award, many other young people will be able to earn this rank. This is a step in the right direction for an organization that is so resistant to change. My hope for the future of the Boy Scouts of America is to see full inclusion for both youth and adult leaders.

My son Ryan needs your help.

Ryan joined the Boy Scouts when he was just six years old, and since then, he's dreamed of earning his Eagle award -- the highest rank in the Boy Scouts.

Ryan is now a senior in high school, and just completed the final requirements to earn his Eagle Award. He's an honor student with great SAT scores, who's hoping to attend the University of San Francisco. But because he recently came out to his friends and family as gay, leaders from our local Boy Scout troop say they won't approve his Eagle award.

A Boy Scout gets his Eagle by earning many badges, completing all lower Scout rank requirements, and carrying out an approved final project. So Ryan decided to build a "Tolerance Wall" for his school, to show bully victims -- like Ryan -- that they are not alone. Ryan worked countless hours with elementary students to amass a wall of 288 unique tiles, all illustrating acts of kindness.

But when local Boy Scout leaders found out that Ryan was gay, the Scoutmaster refused to sign the official paperwork designating Ryan as an Eagle Scout, despite the fact that Ryan completed all of the requirements.

Many troops and councils around the country are standing up, choosing to reject the Boy Scouts' discriminatory policy. I sincerely hope that Ryan's council will become one of them. And with your help, they just might.

It hurts me so much to watch Ryan suffer for being who he is, because to me, he's perfect. Ryan has worked for nearly 12 years to become an Eagle Scout, and nothing would make him more proud than earning that well-deserved distinction. I hope that if enough people come together, we can convince my son's troop leaders to help him feel proud of who he is and all he's accomplished.

"Citizenship in the Community," a merit badge earned, means standing up for what is right, and I am proud of Ryan for doing just that. Will you stand with him too, and join this campaign?

John Fenoglio, Scout Executive, Mount Diablo Silverado Council
I'm urging leaders from Troop 212 and the Mt. Diablo Silverado Council to reject the Boy Scouts of America's discriminatory anti-gay policy and to give Ryan Andresen the Eagle award he's earned.

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. From The Atlantic Wire:

      Mark Anthony Dingbaum
      Petition Organizer

      On Tuesday, the Boy Scouts quickly snuffed out a flicker of hope that a gay Eagle Scout candidate in California might actually earn the rank after his local council threw their support behind him. That flicker came from news that a local review board vowed to challenge the Boy Scouts' decision not to award Brian Andresen the Eagle rank due to his sexual orientation. But just hours after that report went live, a Boy Scouts executive reaffirmed the initial decision on Tuesday...

    2. Gay Scout's request for Eagle rank rejected

      Mark Anthony Dingbaum
      Petition Organizer

      "Our community is standing behind Ryan Andresen," Hazarabedian said. "When I dropped off Ryan's unanimously approved Eagle Board of Review application and report on December 31, Mr. Fenoglio looked me in the eyes, patted the stack of papers, and said, 'We'll sign it and send it on, but can't promise what will happen from there.'

      "I'm totally perplexed by this statement from Scout Executive Fenoglio, a man I greatly respect and admire," Hazarabedian said about the local council's rejection.

    3. California board challenges Boy Scouts’ ban on gay members

      Mark Anthony Dingbaum
      Petition Organizer

      Boy Scouts of America spokesman Deron Smith said the volunteer review board does not have authority to act on behalf of the regional council and that Ryan doesn’t meet the Scouts’ membership criteria.

    4. California Boy Scouts challenge ban on gays

      Mark Anthony Dingbaum
      Petition Organizer

      "It's the first in-your-face (challenge)," said Bonnie Hazarabedian, who chaired the Boy Scout district review board that signed off on Ryan's Eagle scout application..."

    5. Bay Area Boy Scout to Deliver Petitions

      Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      Ryan Andresen and Karen Andresen will be delivering 400,000 petition signatures to the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Boy Scout Council. And Ryan will also be recognized by California Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner for his courage in confronting the Boy Scouts' anti-gay policies. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/17/4919795/bay-area-boy-scout-to-deliver.html

    6. Reached 400,000 signatures
    7. A Boy Scout Without a Badge

      Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      Ryan Andresen, with his mom Karen in the audience, appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday, October 11, 2012. On the show, Ryan talked with Ellen about his 12 years of service with the Boy Scouts, and how amazing it's been to see hundreds of thousands of people supporting him and calling on the Boy Scouts to award him his Eagle Scout designation. http://www.ellentv.com/2012/10/11/a-boy-scout-without-a-badge/?adid=home-feature-slot-2

      A Boy Scout Without a Badge

      Ryan Andresen put in all of the work to earn his Eagle badge, but after he came out to his friends and family, he was denied his award. He was here to tell Ellen his story. If you'd like to sign Ryan's petition, you can do it right here.

    8. Rejected Boy Scout Receives Outpouring of Support

      Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      Great Yahoo! News coverage of Karen Andresen's campaign, talking about how her son Ryan is receiving support from scores of Scouts all over the country. http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/rejected-boy-scout-receives-outpouring-support-171147550.html

      Rejected Boy Scout receives outpouring of support

      Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET] Ryan Andresen may have been shunned by the Boy Scouts, but not by scores of strangers who've stepped up to pledge their support over his plight. The California teen made headlines around the world last week after his scoutmaster refused to approve his Eagle Scout award because Ryan is gay.

    9. Gay Boy Scout, Bullied By Troop, Denied Eagle Scout Rank

      Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      ABC News coverage of Karen's campaign, with a picture of Ryan in front of the "Tolerance Wall" he helped make as part of his capstone project to complete his requirements for his Eagle Scout award: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/boy-scout-bullied-denied-eagle-rank-gay/story?id=17401340#.UHXof_l27Eo

      Gay Boy Scout Denied Eagle Rank

      A senior and honors student who hopes to go the University of San Francisco, Ryan joined the Boy Scouts at age 6. "He just liked the outdoors and hiking," said Karen Andresen, 49. Ryan came out to his parents when he was "around 16," said his mother.

    10. Reached 300,000 signatures



    Jan 09, 2013

    So happy to hear Ryan's Eagle Scout award application is being sent to the Nat'l Council. Hope they do the right thing. http://t.co/Ci9Z4W6g

    Ellen DeGeneres


    Oct 04, 2012

    As a former proud Scout this makes me sad. Scouts: Don't let your anti-gay policy deny Ryan his Eagle award http://t.co/ZCJ1vKpz via @change

    Simon van Kempen


    Oct 05, 2012

    Boy Scouts: Don't let your anti-gay policy deny my son his Eagle award http://t.co/KJNZG551 via @change

    John Biggs


    Nov 14, 2012

    California is proud of Ryan Andresen. I am proud of him. Join me in urging the Boy Scouts to give him his Eagle Award http://t.co/EK5MRP8d

    Gavin Newsom

    Reasons for signing

    • Stacie Renkey GIBSONIA, PA
      • over 1 year ago

      I feel he's earns it and don't think there should be discrimination of sexual partner preference...

    • Rachel Burt ELWOOD, IN
      • over 1 year ago

      although I do not know any one gay in scouts. My boyfriend is a scout leader in training. and we think that no one should be denied anything because of who they are. I am proud to take a stand... I know that where i live the scout leaders left it up to the charters after a vote from all the scouts. and since you can't have scouts with out charters I think for thier group they took the step that most will not.

    • Be Masculine HANCEVILLE, AL
      • over 1 year ago

      No! This is wrong. Show my post like all the others. Boy Scouts is about chivalry and making men out of boys. An Eagle is for an honorable man. Learn your identity the way you ARE created.

    • Thorhildur Marteinsdottir SELFOSS, ICELAND
      • over 1 year ago

      Because it doesn't matter if you are Bi- Straigt og Gay- sexual we are all the same people!

    • Lisa Sanchez FRESNO, CA
      • over 1 year ago

      Just because he is gay doesn't mean he doesn't deserve the Eagle Award in fact he deserve more than anyone for being so brave. You shhould be proud of yourself!


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