SAN FRANCISCO A review board has challenged the Boy Scouts of Americas prohibition on gay members by recommending a local teenager for the rank of Eagle Scout, but the action wont have an immediate effect on the young mans status, his father said Tuesday.
The four-member board unanimously approved 18-year-old Ryan Andresens application on Dec. 31 and hand-delivered it to the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Councils leadership, the boys father said.
The board agreed to review Ryans qualifications after the Moraga teens scoutmaster refused to sign off on the paperwork after Ryan came out as gay last fall.
But the staff executive has refused to forward the recommendation to the national organization for final approval, leaving the boards endorsement as only a moral victory for the boys family. Eric Andresen said he didnt expect national Boy Scout leaders to support his son, but is still disappointed.
Ryan always has been the mentoring type, the big brother type. He saw this as not only an opportunity, but a responsibility to try to make change, and he has said it many times that he doesnt want any other Scout to have to go through this, Andresen said. Its just blatantly unfair.
Ryans experience has received national attention since October, when his mother launched a petition on the social advocacy site Change.org demanding action on her sons stalled Eagle Scout bid. More than 460,000 people have signed it.
Boy Scouts of America spokesman Deron Smith said the volunteer review board does not have authority to act on behalf of the regional council and that Ryan doesnt meet the Scouts membership criteria.
The Eagle application was forwarded, by a volunteer, to the local council but it was not approved because this young man proactively stated that he does not agree to Scoutings principle of Duty to God and does not meet Scoutings membership requirements, Smith said. Therefore, he is not eligible to receive the rank of Eagle.