Moraga Boy Scout Ryan Andresen has moved one step closer to getting his Eagle Scout badge, despite the fact that it was denied in October because Andresen is gay.
That denial sparked a national controversy, landing Andresen and his mother on talk shows and national news. He also received support from local and national politicians, including U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and 32 California state legislators. Nearly 500,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Boy Scouts of America to grant Andresen his Eagle Scout badge and overturn the policy prohibiting gays from belonging to the Boy Scouts.
On Dec. 31, local scout leaders agreed to submit Andresen’s request to an Eagle Board of Review. They have recommended approval of the badge to the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council, which is headquartered in Pleasant Hill; it next moves to consideration by the national Scout leaders.
“I’m just so incredibly happy for Ryan,” said his mother Karen Andresen. “He’s worked so hard for this honor, and as a mother, it means the world to me to know that our local Scouting community believes in him, too. Regardless of what the BSA’s National Advancement Team decides to do with his application, this victory makes it all worth it and gives me so much hope for the future of the organization.”