July 23, 2012
BSA National Executive Board
1325 Walnut Hill Lane
PO Box 152079
Irving, Texas 75015-2079
To Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive and the BSA National Executive Board,
It is with a heavy heart that I return to you the Eagle Scout medal and badge I earned as a member of Troop 342 in Louisville, Kentucky. I return these to you as a protest against your policy of excluding openly gay, bisexual, or transgender youth and leaders.
In Boy Scouts, I found a safe place and an environment that included and encouraged even the most outcast boys in our school and neighborhood. Our scout troop took boys with widely varying backgrounds, economic statuses, physical abilities, and personalities, and allowed them to have equal chances for success. Never once did I consider that anyone would have been turned away from our organization because of who they were. We were taught that it was what you did that mattered.
There may or may not have been any homosexual boys in our troop. I can’t honestly say that I know. But I do know that my now deceased mother, a lesbian, would not have been allowed to serve as a den mother if her orientation had been public knowledge at the time. The thought that I have invested such a large part of my life with an organization that would have turned my own mother away breaks my heart.
Take this medal and badge as a symbol of my protest of your policy. Take it also as an indication that I will be actively discouraging participation in the Boy Scouts until this policy changes.
Jackson C. Cooper, Esq.
Former Senior Patrol Leader,
Troop 342, Louisville, Ky