Boy Scouts of America
1325 Walnut Hill Lane
P.O. Box 152079
Irving, Texas 75015-2079
To Bob Mazzuca, Wayne Brock and The National Executive Board of The Boy Scouts of America,
My name is Ben Bedford and I write this letter to inform you that I hereby forfeit my Eagle Scout medal and badge which were awarded to me in 1996 when I was a member of BSA Troop 310 in Chatham, Illinois. You will find these two items enclosed. I forfeit my award due to the BSA’s continued policy of discrimination against gay scouts and scouters. I am not gay but I do not share the BSA’s bigoted, reprehensible and backwards stance on this issue and I feel it is diametrically opposed to my sensibilities and ethics as a member of the human race. This official decree of discrimination by the BSA is lacking in the character and integrity supposedly inherent in the tenets of this organization.
I cannot, in good conscience, retain this award while kind, upstanding and ethically sturdy citizens of this country are denied the same honor due to their sexual orientation. As long as this award remains in my possession, I feel silently complicit in this discriminating behavior.
Whatever the reasons the Executive Board has for staunchly upholding this ugly policy, be they religiously based or simply the personal opinions of the board members, this policy is hurtful, shameful and unethical. Discrimination is simply hate by another name and hate is not acceptable.
The Eagle Award was one of my proudest achievements as a boy and I am terribly sad to part with it. The boy within me is broken-hearted. But today I am a man and as a man I wish to distance myself from an organization that seems bent upon squandering its merits in a deep trench of hypocrisy.
I am pleading with the Executive Board to do the right thing. Please stop discriminating against a demographic which should be accorded the same rights and privileges as the rest of the population.
Due to this policy, I know that I can not remain an Eagle Scout at heart if I remain an Eagle Scout in name. My retention of this award is of far lesser gravity than the withholding of the same award from so many deserving others.
Therefore, as a sensitive member of the human race, I hereby forfeit my Eagle Scout Award. It shall be my final act as an Eagle Scout.