In Bethesda, Maryland, dozens of Eagle Scouts, current Scouts, parents, and volunteer leaders gathered outside the National Capital Area Council headquarters. Scores of cars passing on the highway next to the building honked in support, while attendees held signs urging and end to the ban.
ThinkProgress talked with several participants. Debbie Heller, mother of an Eagle Scout and wife of a former Scoutmaster, said that “I think Scouting is the greatest organization in the world, but if they continue to discriminate, I could couldn’t support” the BSA.
Eagle Scout David Churchill observed: “Discrimination is wrong.” Noting that the Boy Scout law requires all Scouts to be kind, he said “the organization needs to reflect that as well.
Jody Benjamin, a former Den leader and committee chair, objected to the current requirement that troop leaders kick out youths who identify as gay. “The Scouts are asking me to be a liar or to do a really hurtful thing to a child. I can’t do it, and so I think it’s wrong.”
Justis Tunia, who earned his Eagle Scout award in Layton, Utah in 1995, lamented that events like this were necessary. “It’s a shame that we as former members and families associated with Scouting have to push the organization in this direction, as these were values that were taught to us throughout our period in Scouting.”