Dozens of Eagle Scouts returned their coveted medals and badges to protest the Boy Scouts ban on gay Scouts and leader. Jacksonville Eagle Scout Matthew Kerns returned his medal to the Boy Scout of America. He is one of many returning awards in protest of no-gays policy. Times leaders has the report:
In the last 102 years, the Boy Scouts of America have handed out 2,043,375 Eagle Scout medals.
In the last two weeks, the flow has reversed, with many Eagle Scouts – including former Edwardsville resident Matthew Kerns – returning the awards in protest of BSA’s reaffirmation of its no-gays policy.
“I got my Eagle Award in March 2003, about a week before my 18th birthday,” Kerns said in a phone interview from his current home in Jacksonville, Fla. “It was a fantastic experience; I really enjoyed it.”
Eagle Scout and a Scoutmaster in upstate New York Bill DeVos sent awards and a letter to the Boy Scouts association in protest over the organization’s policy banning gay Scouts and leaders. NBC NEWS .
Bill DeVos, a Scoutmaster in upstate New York, packed up his Eagle Scout medal, badge and knot, and mailed the awards to the Boy Scouts’ headquarters in Texas.
Though it was hard to part with the symbols of his Scouting achievements that harkened to his childhood, the 56-year-old father of two Eagle Scouts said he didn’t want them as long as the organization kept its ban on gay Scouts and leaders.
“It is not an easy thing to give up your Eagle. It sounds silly, but it’s very emotional, you know, if you’ve been in Scouts as long as most of us guys have … it just means a lot,” DeVos, an architect from Rochester, told NBC News. “But it’s more important for it (the badge) to do something good for others … I can look at it and be sentimental about it, but it’s what it does for others that means more.”
Scout steven Colella decided to return award because he’s gay. CNN/WJLA has the story:
This was one of the happiest days of steven Colella’s life. Since he was five he wanted to be an Eagle Scout. But now as a gay man, he has made the difficult decision to give back a medal he worked most of his life for. He says, “If this organization no longer represents something that I believe it then I can’t be a part of it.”
The Boy Scouts of America recently reaffirmed its policy to ban openly gay members. That decision prompted this 23-year-old Frederick resident to relinquish his status as an Eagle Scout. He says, “The card that I sent back is something that I carry around in my wallet every day…and it’s a symbol and it doesn’t have any material value but it’s a huge part of who I am.”
Dr. Mark Varnum in Bangor is returning all of the medals he earned as an Eagle Scout because of the association anti gay policy.WCSH6.com
An Bangor eye doctor who was an Eagle Scout is taking a stand against the Boy Scouts of America. Dr. Mark Varnum recently give back all the medals he earned as a scout because of the organization’s policy which bars gays and lesbians from joining.
This past month the ‘Boy Scouts of America’ decided to uphold that policy, which has long been criticized by gay and lesbian groups all over the nation. Varnum says in his eyes the policy is discriminatory.
Varnum was in the scouts for much of his young life and earned the rank of Eagle Scout after four years in the organization. He recently turned in that title to the Boy Scouts along with two medals of advancement.