California Assembly Speaker John Perez will recognize and honor Ryan Andresen – the East Bay Boy Scout who was denied his Eagle rank because he’s gay – at the new Assembly’s opening session Monday in Sacramento.
Andresen, now 18, of Moraga, and his parents also are scheduled to meet with supporters including Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley; state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco; and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The Boy Scouts of America this summer re-affirmed its national policy of barring openly gay boys from membership and gay or lesbian adults from leadership. Andresen came out as gay, and though he had participated in Scouting for 12 years and satisfied all of the many requirements to attain its highest rank, Troop 212′s leaders denied him his Eagle award. The local council subsequently kicked him out of Scouting entirely.
His mother, Karen Andresen, started a Change.org petition which has been signed by almost 428,000 people urging the troop’s leaders to ignore BSA’s policy and give Andresen the award he earned.