NJ Scout Quits Rank

STATE – A Maplewood man is one of a growing number of former Eagle Scouts who have resigned their rank in protest of the Boy Scouts of America’s continuing opposition to homosexual scouts.

“I cannot reconcile what I was taught as a Cub, Webelo, and Boy Scout with your current position on homosexual members,” writes John W. Ramsburg in his resignation letter. “I can only hope that this barbaric discriminatory policy will be reversed in time for my son to join the scouts. Regardless, I will still teach him and his sister the core tenants of scouting: respect for the earth, country and above all else, their fellow man.”

Ramsburg’s letter is one of dozens posted at Eagle Scouts Returning Our Badges (http://eaglebadges.tumblr.com/), a website created to “encourage more Eagle Scouts to join the movement against BSA bigotry and discrimination.”

Last month, the Boy Scouts Of America reaffirmed the organization’s current membership policy prohibiting homosexual scouts and scout leaders, following a confidential two-year review process.

“The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers, and at the appropriate time and in the right setting,” said Bob Mazzuca, chief scout executive of the Boy Scouts of America. “While a majority of our membership agrees with our policy, we fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society.”

To reach the Eagle rank, scouts must first achieve five lower ranks, earn 21 merit badges and serve six months in a leadership position and complete other tasks.

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