Daniel T. Wright
Staunton, VA 24401
Wayne Brock, Chief Scout Executive
Boy Scouts of America
1325 Walnut Hill Lane
P.O. Box 152079
Irving, TX 75015-2079
Dear Mr. Brock,
When I achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in 1994, I was extremely proud and honored to be a part of the Boy Scouts of America. The organization I knew and participated in upheld values I share and consider honorable: helpfulness, loyalty, friendliness, honesty, courtesy. I still proudly hold these values, but recent statements by the National Council of the BSA officially banning LGBT Scouts and leaders has shamefully ignored the values I share in favor of bigotry and intolerance. On this account, I am writing to resign the rank of Eagle and renounce my association with the organization.
For years, I have been uneasy about increasingly intolerant formal policies adopted by the Boy Scouts. There has always been a “traditional” side of Boy Scout leadership that is deeply conservative, but this has not always stopped the organization from doing the right thing in line with Scouting’s central values. For example, I recall some discomfort in the local leadership over my atheism when I was awarded my Eagle – but the fact that I clearly upheld the core principles of Scouting as stated in the Law and Oath was considered more important than a traditionalist’s understanding of what it means to be “reverent.” It is because of this that I have had great hope over the years that the Boy Scouts would modernize their formal policies to be more in line with what being “friendly, courteous, and kind” mean in today’s world. Unfortunately, when the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America affirmed their supposedly long-standing policy banning gay youth and leadership from participation, they have chosen to do the opposite. I vehemently disagree with the assertion that this kind of bigotry is a value of the Boy Scouts, and an organization that is expressly called to be moral and honorable has a high obligation to reject discrimination in all its forms. The failure of the Boy Scout leadership to meet this obligation is unconscionable, and rejecting it in the strongest possible terms is the only right course of action for me to follow.
I have in the past been proud to call myself an Eagle Scout because of the leadership and values I learned while a member of the Boy Scouts. Because of those same values, I am today proud to call myself a former Eagle Scout.
Daniel T. Wright
Former Eagle Scout
Former Order of the Arrow member
Troop 127, Crystal Lake, IL