Yee Calls on Boy Scouts to End Policy Discriminating Against Gays

October 22, 2012

Yee: To Deny Andresen Eagle Scout Honor is Offensive and Un-American

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) called on the Boy Scouts of America to end their policy discriminating against gays and to bestow the title of Eagle Scout to Ryan Andresen of Moraga, a scout who was recently denied the honor simply due to his sexual orientation.

In a letter to National Boy Scouts of America President Wayne Perry, Yee wrote: “I ask that Ryan Andresen receive the honor that he has worked so hard for. To deny him the title of Eagle Scout denigrates his efforts, and cheapens the title for his fellow Eagles. To hold him to a different standard; to say he is unworthy of this honor because of his sexual orientation is as offensive and un-American as it would be to do so because of the color of his skin.”

“I hope you immediately and completely end your policy of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” wrote Yee. “You have an opportunity here to prove that the Boy Scouts of America is open to all who wish to be a part of its grand traditions. Please do not throw it away.”

Regardless of the policy of the Boy Scouts of America, Yee also called on the local council to grant Andresen his Eagle Scout distinction.

In a letter to John Fenoglio, Scout Executive of the Mt. Diablo Silverado Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Yee wrote that if the Boy Scouts of America fail to change their policy “I ask that you do the right thing and bestow the title of Eagle Scout on Mr. Andresen, as he has earned.”

As a legislator, Yee has attended several Eagle Scout ceremonies and has issued official honors to these young people. 

“The Eagles I have met have been exemplary citizens, and I feel privileged to have them as constituents,” said Yee. “I also know Ryan’s family and I am certain he is most deserving of the Eagle Scout honor.”

“I worry that if the Boy Scouts continue these discriminatory policies, this organization will be left behind as a relic of the past, and future generations will lose an opportunity to learn, grow, and become responsible and conscientious citizens,” said Yee.

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Contact: Adam J. Keigwin,
(916) 651-4008

Below: Letters sent from Senator Yee and fellow legislators to Perry and Fenoglio