Yee Condemns Boy Scouts for Refusing to Bestow Honor on Local Scout

January 09, 2013

Despite local board approval, Scout Executive refuses to process Andresen’s Eagle Scout application due to discrimination

SAN FRANCISCO – It was a short-lived victory for Ryan Andresen of Moraga, who yesterday was told the Mount Diablo-Silverado Boy Scout Council had approved his application for Eagle Scout, challenging the National Boy Scouts of America discriminatory ban on gay scouts.

Despite board approval, the local Scout Executive John Fenoglio is now refusing to sign and process Andresen’s application, thus denying the honor to Andresen. Earlier, Fenoglio had told the local board that he was going to sign the application and process it.

“Our community is standing behind Ryan Andresen,” said Bonnie Hazabedian, who was part of the review board. “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.”

“It is completely hypocritical for the Boy Scouts and Fenoglio to deny Ryan’s his due recognition based on Scout code, when in fact Fenoglio himself has demonstrated that he is not trustworthy – a clear violation of the Scout Code of Honor,” said Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo). “Ryan is more than deserving of the Eagle Scout honor and it is long overdue for the Boy Scouts to stop their discriminatory policy.”

Last October, Yee called on the Boy Scouts of America to end their policy discriminating against gays and to bestow the title of Eagle Scout to Andresen.

In his 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.”

“If the Boy Scouts continue their 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