Boy Scouts: “A few” returned medals

Boy Scouts confirm some Eagle Scouts return their medals after exclusion of gays

Topics: Gay Rights, Boy Scouts, Human Rights, Texas, Conservatism, , ,

Boy Scouts: "A few" returned medals

The Boy Scouts of America confirmed to Salon that after a week of controversy surrounding its continuing ban on gays, some Eagle Scouts responded by returning their commendations. “Throughout the years people have chosen to return Eagle medals for a variety of reasons,” Deron Smith replied to questions from Salon in an email. “In the past two weeks we’ve received a few (less than ten).”

The group has faced pressure to admit gays for more than a decade. But last week’s renewed affirmation of the policy  is increasingly marginal after same-sex marriage has become legal in several states, the military dropped “don’t ask, don’t tell” and President Obama expressed support for same-sex marriage.

The number of resignations has not matched an outpouring of social media activity that followed the decision. In particular, several Eagle Scouts have renounced the title in letters posted online — including  Douglas Woodhouse, who returned his Eagle Award with a letter that’s posted on Open Salon. Boing Boing alone has published more letters than the Scouts say it has received. As of this writing, the new group Eagle Scouts for Equality has almost 400 likes on Facebook. Founder and Eagle Scout Sam Bonin is encouraging Scouts to lodge protest calls to the organization’s Texas headquarters on Aug. 1, the 100th anniversary of the first Eagle Scout award.

Many of the sorrowful letters say that excluding gays is contrary to the values they learned in many years as Scouts. But Smith tells Salon that Scouts have no obligation to even be aware of homosexuality if they don’t want to be.  “Members join Scouting to associate freely with those who share their values, views, goals, and vision—which is a right of all Americans. Forcing parents to potentially have to address this topic with their children before they are ready infringes on their rights to address issues of their choosing, when they wish to address them.”



The Scouts came under further criticism last week after a gay staffer was fired from a Boy Scout camp in northern California. The move prompted 10 other workers to resign in protest.

Woodhouse said he wouldn’t refer to himself as an Eagle Scout until the policy changes. Scouts generally earn the top rank of Eagle after thousands of hours of activity including a major community service project.

“It’s never an easy decision to give up their Eagle award,” Woodhouse said. “No one became an Eagle Scout lightly. This is not a small gesture on anybody’s part.”

Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.

    Domino's

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.

    Arby's/Facebook

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.

    KFC

    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    Pizzagamechangers.com

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.

    7-Eleven

    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>