NEW YORK — On his 18th birthday, Ryan Andresen received a symbol of the Boy Scouts’ highest honor, which the national organization had denied him because he is gay: an Eagle Scout pin.
He got it on Monday from another Eagle Scout, Matthew Kimball, 30, who was also in his troop years ago and publicly came out as gay after learning about his fellow Scout’s plight.
“I look at it; it just gives me hope,” Andresen, of Moraga, Calif., told NBC News on Friday during a visit to New York. “I see it as there’s people out there that support me and care about me and believe that I earned it. And it also shows me that things are happening, change is happening, there’s hope in the Boy Scouts to change this policy.”
Andresen learned more than a week ago from his father, Eric, that the Scoutmaster of Troop 212 would not be signing off on his Eagle application even though he’d completed the requirements. The father said the Scoutmaster told him he was grappling with the conflict between Ryan’s sexual orientation and the policy set by the national organization that bans Gay Scouts and leaders.