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Popular Topics in The Arts
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Congratulations
 
More Kindness: Ellen and Boy Scout Ryan Andresen
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 10/11/12
Last updated on: 10/11/12
 
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Ryan Andresen on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

On National Coming Out Day 2012, Ellen DeGeneres featured Ryan Andresen, who was denied an Eagle Scout pin because of his sexual orientation. She not only told his story of having experienced discrimination as a result of the Boy Scouts of America's disgusting policy of excluding homosexuals, but she also presented the 18-year-old a nice addition to his college fund.

As Miriam Leitsinger of NBC News reported on October 4, 2012, the high school senior recently completed his final Eagle Scout project, which included building a 288-tile "wall of tolerance" for a middle school in California to comfort victims of bullying.

However, despite allowing him to complete all the requirements for the award, leaders of Andresen's Boy Scout troop refused to grant Andresen the Eagle Scout award because he is gay.

In protest, Andresen's father resigned as assistant Scoutmaster of his son's troop after it was confirmed that he would not receive the award.

His mother Karen Andresen told NBC, "I want everyone to know that [the Eagle award] should be based on accomplishment, not your sexual orientation."

Explaining that her son has been in scouting since he was six years old, she added, "I think right now the Scoutmaster is sending Ryan the message that he's not a valued human being and I want Ryan to know that he is valued . . . and that people care about him."

Karen Andresen also initiated a change.org petition, asking that the Boy Scouts of America's discriminatory policy be changed and that her son be given the award that he earned.

"It hurts me so much to watch Ryan suffer for being who he is, because to me, he's perfect. Ryan has worked for nearly 12 years to become an Eagle Scout, and nothing would make him more proud than earning that well-deserved distinction," she wrote on the petition website.

The petition has now received almost 400,000 signatures. It may be accessed here.

On the Ellen Show, DeGeneres not only introduced the nation to the charming Ryan Andresen and his amazing mother, but she also highlights the injustice he experienced.

 
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