On Tuesday, the Boy Scouts quickly snuffed out a flicker of hope that a gay Eagle Scout candidate in California might actually earn the rank after his local council threw their support behind him. That flicker came from news that a local review board vowed to challenge the Boy Scouts' decision not to award Brian Andresen the Eagle rank due to his sexual orientation. But just hours after that report went live, a Boy Scouts executive reaffirmed the initial decision on Tuesday and told CNN that Mount Diablo-Silverado Boy Scout Council rejected the Eagle Scout application for 18-year-old Ryan Andresen due to "membership standards," specifically "duty to God, avowed homosexuality, and the fact that he is now over 18 years of age." The boy's father, Eric Andresen, said in response, "It's pretty upsetting, and it's wrong. The whole thing has been wrong since day one."
You might remember Ryan from last October, when the Boy Scouts initially rejected his Eagle Scout application. He'd completed all of the requirements and everything. Evidently, he was just too gay to be an Eagle Scout. His case won national media attention after his mother started a Change.org petition that ended up collective nearly half a million signatures. California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and Senator Barbara Boxer also sent letters to the Boy Scouts, urging them to reconsider their decision. But the organization was being consistent with an July 2012 decision -- and working within its constitutional rights -- not to change its policies regarding the ineligibility of gay Scouts. This is the one that prompted dozens of Eagle Scouts to send back their awards in protest.