My little brother and I have a lot in common. We've both dedicated many years of our lives to the Boy Scouts of America. We're both openly gay. And until recently, neither my brother nor I have ever been rejected for being open and honest about who we are.
But now there's one big difference between us: Because the Boy Scouts recently reaffirmed their national policy banning gay youth and parents, he might not be able to get his Eagle award. That's not fair.
In fact, a spokesperson for our Boy Scout council recently said that if my brother is openly gay, it "would make it impossible for him to complete his Eagle."
What's worse is that my brother, Pascal Tessier, is just one of countless Scouts who face being banned from something that takes years of dedication. Something that has helped my brother become the person he is today. He doesn’t even have his driver’s license yet, and still he is facing discrimination from the organization he loves, just because he's gay – something that has nothing to do with Scouting.
My family is a Scouting family. Camping, community service, Pinewood Derby competitions and merit badges have been a huge part of our lives. And for me, the culmination, indeed the proudest moment of my years of service and dedication to Scouting, was the moment I received my Eagle award.
My little brother deserves that moment, too. Every Scout deserves a chance to get their Eagle.
Please sign my petition urging the Boy Scouts to vote to end discrimination at the National Council meeting this May.