The Boy Scouts of America got a bit of attention at their annual meeting last month, leading to more bad press for their ridiculous anti-gay policies. This week, journalist Naka Nathaniel, an Eagle Scout, renounced his rank and repudiated the Scouts in an interview with MSNBC. His powerful words say it all.
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…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.
Well put! For those who missed it, the wonderful Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout with two lesbian mothers, delivered over 275,000 signatures demanding a change in policy to the Scouts’ annual meeting. Another former scout, actor and activist George Takei, is hosting Jennifer Tyrrell, the Ohio lesbian who was banned from her son’s scout troop, at NYC Pride. Let’s hope more scouts will follow the charge for bravery in Scout Law and take action to pressure this organization to live up to some of its other standards, like kindness, courtesy, and helpfulness.
Honorable mention this week goes to General Mills. The Minneapolis-based food giant has “joined the culture war” and made a strong stand for equality. Earlier this month, a General Mills executive testified before Congress about the need for inclusive non-discrimination legislation. This week they company issued a strong statement opposing the Minnesota ballot initiative that would ban same-sex marriages. Hooray — now eating Cheerios and Häagen-Dazs is a stand for civil rights!