Last week, after a month of deliberation following a Change.org petition calling for a change in the policy, the Boy Scouts of American reaffirmed its longtime policy of barring openly gay boys from membership and gay or lesbian adults from serving as leaders
In response, some adult Eagle Scouts have renounced their Eagle Scout awards and even returned them via mail to the Boy Scouts of America. This is no small sacrifice, considering that the Eagle Scout award is the highest honor available to a Scout and requires years of planning, dedication, and commitment to volunteering within their communities.
It’s been speculated that at least several dozen Eagle Scouts have returned their badges. Letters of protest have emerged online as well as inside the Boy Scouts of America mailbox.
Gay rights groups call the policy discriminatory and argue that the Boy Scouts of America are an organization that remains out of touch with modern day society. However, in a 5-4 decision in 2000, the Supreme Court ruled that as a private organization, the Boy Scouts of America have the right to decide what values it wants to uphold or exclude within its ranks.