Mr. Brock and the National Executive Board:
Some might think this was a hard decision to make. It wasn’t. Scouting was one of the first times in my life where I felt acceptance. As a young boy I was scrawny, shy and anything but coordinated. My asthma limited my participation in athletics, and a severe dairy allergy usually meant school pizza parties and birthday cakes were out of the question. Although I grew up with an incredibly supportive family, I often felt different from my peers. Scouting changed that.
My fellow scouts were some of the best friends I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. We spent countless hours together, learning lessons that have largely shaped who I am today. It was scouting that first taught me the importance of citizenship and to value and love my community. Scouting showed me how to respect the environment and understand my role in a large and complex ecosystem. I learned leadership skills and the value of hard work through volunteering and service projects. It is safe to say that without scouting I would be a very different person. But this is a very easy decision for me to make.
The fact that the Boy Scouts of America openly choose to be intolerant, and discriminatory is simply unforgiveable. For the sake of my friends and family who identify themselves as members of the LGBTQ community I have a responsibility to stand up for what I believe in and to denounce the prejudiced policies of the Boy Scouts of America; a responsibility I learned in scouting.
These policies are nothing short of archaic bigotry. I could give historical examples showing the trends for acceptance of minority populations in America. I could quote studies and provide you with statistics proving that diversity strengthens communities and tolerance leads to growth. But I don’t need to do that because the issue is actually much more simple. Prejudice and intolerance is wrong, and any children’s book will tell you why.
I am disgusted that an organization that has taught me such important values and ethics continues to poison their own efforts by prescribing to such blatant prejudice. I value my time as a boy scout immensely because it made me feel like I mattered. I hope someday that the Boy Scouts of America realize that everyone matters. Until that day, I make an easy choice to disassociate myself with your ignorant policies and your intolerant organization.
Former Eagle Scout