I was never a Boy Scout growing up, but I remember that, for those who were, attaining the rank of Eagle was a high honor, indeed. However, the Boy Scouts of America have always had a discriminatory anti-gay ban on their books, and now that it’s getting a lot of attention, many Eagle Scouts now see that their honor is indeed stained by the mark of this discriminatory organization. Josh Israel at ThinkProgress points out that, a little over a decade ago, over sixty Eagle Scouts turned in their badges in protest. Now a new effort is beginning, along the same lines, led by Naka Nathaniel, who announced that he was turning in his award as well:
When I earned my Eagle Scout rank 20 years ago, I was proud of my accomplishment. When my little brother earned his Eagle 13 years later, I traveled halfway round the world to attend his court of honor. I was proud of him and my family. My parents had raised two Eagle Scouts.
Today, I’m ashamed to be an Eagle Scout.
I don’t want my son to participate in Scouting.
I would rather my son be gay than be an Eagle Scout.
The antigay policies of the Boy Scouts of America have forced me to turn my back on an organization that, along with my parents, I credit for helping me be a good son, a good husband, a good employee, and a good citizen.
In short, he’s taking what he learned as a Scout and turning it right back on the organization, pointing out that their policy on gay people is the antithesis of everything they teach, just like DADT ran counter to all the principles of integrity and valor espoused by the US Military.
Here’s video of Naka being interviewed on MSNBC: