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Sun., Feb. 10, 2013

Scouting must change

As someone who has seen many young males benefit from Boy Scouting, and who has benefited himself, I find the denial of Eagle Scout rank to Ryan Andresen, of Moraga, Calif., troubling in the extreme. Scouting’s homophobic policy is absolutely outdated and indefensible.

We can all admire the contributions Boy Scouts and their adult leaders have made to shared values, including good citizenship, environmental stewardship and community service. There is no question that Scout-sponsored training in safety, first aid and leadership has yielded far-reaching benefits since Boy Scouting came to our country in 1910.

But now, after more than 100 years of meaningful character and community building, must we watch this honored institution self-destruct because it denies equality to some and fears change? For its current 2.7 million youth members, and more than 1 million adult volunteers, there can be no honor in institutionalized bigotry and hatred.

For my son and for me, it’s time for change.

Dana Elder


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