David C. Appleyard, Ph. D.
August 2nd, 2012
To Mr. Mazzuca and the BSA National Executive Board,
I grew up as a Scout, working my way from a Cub Scout all the way to Eagle as part of Troop 173 in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. My time spent in scouting was a valuable experience, providing me with great opportunities to explore the outdoors, learn new skills, contribute to my community, and foster my core values. Reaching the rank of Eagle was a step in developing the confidence and hard-working persistence for a journey in life that has included college, graduate school, and a wealth of other challenges. It has been an accomplishment that I proudly shared with others and I felt reflected the most positive aspects of my character.
I was shocked and extremely disappointed by the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to actively continue its exclusion of gay individuals. For a group dedicated to the development of character in youth, maintaining a policy of discrimination sets a deplorable example. The core principles of scouting focus on respect: respect of ourselves, of those around us, and of our environment. Excluding individuals based on sexual orientation violates these principles of respect and is an affront to the collective character of Scouts who see all members of a community as equals.
This is why my Eagle Scout Award, one of my proudest achievements, is enclosed with this letter. I can no longer support, nor wish to be associated with, an organization that promotes such an unjust policy.
This is not a decision I have made lightly—yet I am confident that it is the right decision, one that reflects my character, upbringing, and that of an Eagle.
I have sent a copy of this letter to many of those who have helped me in my journey as a Scout. I hope that these peers see this action as a sign of respect for the character and values they helped instill in me. I also hope that the National Council takes note and begins to reflect on the character that they profess to possess. Perhaps there will be a time in the future when I can once again say I am proud to be a Scout.
David C. Appleyard, Ph.D.