Newsom's letter (available here) comes in the wake of a California mom's popular Change.org petition -- signed by more than 400,000 people -- urging the Boy Scouts of America to award her son his Eagle Scout Award. The mom, Karen Andresen, started the petition after her son Ryan was told that, despite 12 years of service in Scouts and the completion of a capstone project to earn his Eagle Scout, he'd be denied his Eagle designation because of his sexual orientation.
In his letter, Newsom called on the Boy Scouts of America to change course, and also urged the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Boy Scout Council to award Ryan Andresen his Eagle Scout Award.
“In defending this hurtful and discriminatory policy barring gay youth and leaders, the Boy Scouts of America are simply standing on the wrong side of history. And in doing so, the Boy Scouts are hurting the very people that you aim to serve: the young men who participate in your programs. Scout leaders who are speaking out against this hurtful policy inspire me. I urge the Mt. Diablo Silverado Council to follow the brave precedent established by other local councils by ending anti-discriminatory practices and approve the Eagle Scout award Ryan so justly deserves.”
Newsom joins 32 California state legislators and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer in speaking out in support of Ryan Andresen and his family’s campaign to get his Eagle award, and to end the Boy Scouts of America’s anti-gay policy.