October 05, 2012 10:49pm PT by Sophie Schillaci
Mother of Gay Boy Scout to Appear on 'Ellen'
After her son, a gay California Boy Scout, was denied an Eagle award due to his sexual orientation, Karen Andresen leapt into action.
Andresen launched a petition on Change. org, an Internet social change platform, asking Toop 212 in Moraga, a San Francisco suburb, to reject the Boy Scouts of America's discrimination policy against gays and award the teen, Ryan Andresen, his Eagle rank -- the org's highest honor. To date, the petition has more than 200,000 signatures.
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Next stop for Andresen's fight is Ellen, where she will discuss the issue with gay rights advocate Ellen DeGeneres, Reuters reports.
Andresen says that her son has been a scout since age 6, but his scoutmaster refused to grant Eagle status to the teen even though he met the requirements. She hopes to overturn the decision before her son's 18th birthday, the cut-off date for the honor.
"His last words were 'I'd rather resign than sign,'" Andresen said of the scoutmaster.
She also said that Ryan had been the victim of bullying in his troop and for his final Eagle project, chose to create a "tolerance wall" at a local school including 288 tiles painted by elementary students depicting various acts of kindness.
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Ryan then surprised his parents by coming out publicly in July via a mass letter to the troop in an attempt to stand up for a fellow scout who was being bullied.
The Boy Scouts of America spokesman Deron Smith said in a statement: "The scout proactively notified his unit leadership and Eagle Scout consoler that he does not agree to the scouting's principle of 'duty to God' and does not meet scouting's membership standard on sexual orientation."
A representative for Ellen did not immediately return The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment, and it is not yet clear when Andresen is scheduled to appear.