Boy Scouts chapter defies national organization, accepts openly gay teen

A Bay Area Boy Scouts chapter approved Ryan Andresen's scout application -- even though he is gay

By Katie McDonough

Published January 8, 2013 10:11PM (EST)

            (Reuters/David Manning)
(Reuters/David Manning)

Ryan Andresen is an honor student who has been in the Boy Scouts since he was six years old. He also happens to be an openly gay teen, which is why the Eagle Board of Review refused to approve his Scouts' Eagle application.

Until today, that is.

After appearances on Ellen DeGeneres and Anderson Cooper and 460,000 signatures on a petition, a California-based Mount Diablo-Silverado Council approved Ryan's status -- in direct defiance of the national organization's policy against gay scouts.

"It's the first in-your-face (challenge)," Boy Scout district review board chair Bonnie Hazarabedian told Reuters.

While the national office generally approves all district recommendations automatically, the council is expecting some push back in this case.

But that might be besides the point, according to Ryan's father Eric. "It's the message that counts. It's the desire that no other Scout should ever have to go through this."

h/t Gawker


Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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Boy Scouts Boy Scouts Of America Gay Rights Inequality Lgbtq