July252012
I attribute my curiosity, my morals, and my self-reliance to the principles that I learned in scouting. Being a scout gave me purpose as a youth, and I have never regretted my years of service.
Due to the actions of your board on July 17, however, I have come to regret my continued association with the BSA. In no uncertain terms, I say to you gentlemen that you are cowards. By continuing to remove dedicated leaders and aspiring scouts from their positions because of their homosexuality, you are weakening scouting and causing trauma and isolation to the most vulnerable boys in our community.
When I was a Cub Scout, there was one boy in our pack who had been born with a cleft palate. Due to his speech impediment, he spoke rarely and quietly. Naturally, the rest of us teased him and made him an outcast until our pack leader sat us down and explained things. He impressed upon us this boy’s desperate need for friends and inclusion. He made sure that we knew that excluding others, no matter the reason, was completely unacceptable and against every law of scouting and brotherhood.
I want you to think about the boys you are casting out of your organization, and I want you to wonder how many of them need support while their families, their schools, and their churches turn their backs on them. I want you to think about the pain you are causing, the depression you are enabling, and the suicides that you are contributing to. I want you to recognize your weakness of character as you fail in your duty as men to protect the powerless.
As a Tiger Scout, Cub Scout, Webelos Scout, Boy Scout, Eagle Scout, Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, and Order of the Arrow Brotherhood member, I learned that what is easy is not always right. Something is not moral just because it is legal. You may have convinced the Supreme Court that your bigotry is lawful, but you will never convince me that this policy is anything but dishonorable negligence in your role as leaders.
One day, I am sure, the Boy Scouts of America will stop turning aside the boys who need it most. Until that day comes, I will be ashamed to have my name associated with yours. Remove me immediately from the ranks of Eagle Scouts, and find enclosed my Eagle Scout award. Until you begin to live by the values of inclusion, kindness, and civility that you espouse, I refuse any association with the Boy Scouts of America.
Ian Birnbaum Dallas, Texas Former Senior Patrol Leader, Troop 485 Order of the Arrow Brotherhood Member, Lodge Aina Topa Hutsi Eagle Scout, 2002-2012

I attribute my curiosity, my morals, and my self-reliance to the principles that I learned in scouting. Being a scout gave me purpose as a youth, and I have never regretted my years of service.

Due to the actions of your board on July 17, however, I have come to regret my continued association with the BSA. In no uncertain terms, I say to you gentlemen that you are cowards. By continuing to remove dedicated leaders and aspiring scouts from their positions because of their homosexuality, you are weakening scouting and causing trauma and isolation to the most vulnerable boys in our community.

When I was a Cub Scout, there was one boy in our pack who had been born with a cleft palate. Due to his speech impediment, he spoke rarely and quietly. Naturally, the rest of us teased him and made him an outcast until our pack leader sat us down and explained things. He impressed upon us this boy’s desperate need for friends and inclusion. He made sure that we knew that excluding others, no matter the reason, was completely unacceptable and against every law of scouting and brotherhood.

I want you to think about the boys you are casting out of your organization, and I want you to wonder how many of them need support while their families, their schools, and their churches turn their backs on them. I want you to think about the pain you are causing, the depression you are enabling, and the suicides that you are contributing to. I want you to recognize your weakness of character as you fail in your duty as men to protect the powerless.

As a Tiger Scout, Cub Scout, Webelos Scout, Boy Scout, Eagle Scout, Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, and Order of the Arrow Brotherhood member, I learned that what is easy is not always right. Something is not moral just because it is legal. You may have convinced the Supreme Court that your bigotry is lawful, but you will never convince me that this policy is anything but dishonorable negligence in your role as leaders.

One day, I am sure, the Boy Scouts of America will stop turning aside the boys who need it most. Until that day comes, I will be ashamed to have my name associated with yours. Remove me immediately from the ranks of Eagle Scouts, and find enclosed my Eagle Scout award. Until you begin to live by the values of inclusion, kindness, and civility that you espouse, I refuse any association with the Boy Scouts of America.

Ian Birnbaum 
Dallas, Texas 
Former Senior Patrol Leader, Troop 485 
Order of the Arrow Brotherhood Member, Lodge 
Aina Topa Hutsi 
Eagle Scout, 2002-2012


Page 1 of 1