Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Robert J. Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive
Boy Scouts of America Headquarters
1325 W. Walnut Hill Lane
Irving, TX 75015
Dear Mr. Mazzuca:
My name is James Joseph Schiffer Jr. and I am 20 years old. I received my Eagle Scout in September of 2008. Today, I am returning my Eagle Badge to you based on my disagreement with the BSA’s outdated, bigoted policies, which clearly discriminate against members of the LGBT community. I used to be proud to tell people that I was an Eagle Scout, but now I am embarrassed to affiliated with such an intolerant organization.
This ban on gay scouts is simply nothing else but bullying—what does one’s sexual orientation have anything to do with their character? I don’t see how being gay can honestly affect the type of scout or scout leader you are. I always thought the purpose of the Boy Scouts of America was to build leadership and character, not intolerance. This policy is simply wrong.
Because some of my best memories from my childhood were with great thanks to scouting, it has not been the easiest thing to renounce my Eagle Award. However, today my conscience wins out over a piece of metal. I strongly urge you to consider other means to allow gay scouts and scout leaders to participate. Please consider my opinion along with the opinions of President Barack Obama and the many other Eagle Scouts who have also returned their badges. Being “mentally awake and morally straight” means thinking for yourself and standing up for others in times of inequality. Every boy in this country deserves to have the opportunity to take part in scouting regardless of sexual orientation. I look forward to hearing your response. Please reconsider-
James Joseph Schiffer Jr.