Ryan Andresen, the 17-year old Boy Scout denied his Eagle Scout award for being gay, has friends in high places.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and U.S. senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have all penned letters to the Boy Scouts of America, blasting the organization for homophobia, according to SF Weekly.
"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," Newsom wrote the Texas-based organization.
Ryan Andresen was kicked out of his Moraga-based Boy Scout troop in September when he came out as gay, according to reports. His mother began a petition on Change.org, which has since attracted 400,000 signatures, the newspaper reported.
State Sen. Leland Yee signed onto another letter, a group letter that calls out the local leadership of the Boy Scouts as well as the national leadership. That letter reads, in part:
"To deny him the title of Eagle Scout denigrates his efforts, and cheapens the title for his fellow Eagles. To hold him to a different standard, to say he is unworthy of this honor because of his sexual orientation is as offensive and un-American as it would be to do so because of the color of his skin."