BSA National Executive Board
1325 Walnut Hill Lane
PO Box 152079
Irving, Texas 75015-2079

To Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive, and the BSA National Executive Board:

I am an Eagle Scout, and Scouting was a huge factor in my childhood. From my first den meeting as a Bobcat through my Arrow of Light award, my time as Patrol Leader and Senior Patrol Leader for Troop #425, my Eagle service project, my induction into the Order of the Arrow, and my later service with Explorer Search and Rescue Post 888, I was proud to enthusiastically uphold Scouting’s values of leadership, community service, teamwork, and togetherness.

Today, however, I write not because I am proud of Scouting, but because I am deeply disappointed. Your policy of exclusion of homosexuals is offensive, bigoted, and not in the interests of Scouts, Scouting, or the community. Overwhelming scientific evidence exists that a person’s sexual orientation is an inherent part of who they are, and there is no moral failure involved in being homosexual.

You had an opportunity this month to take a step forward, show the leadership you espouse, and embrace—or at least accept—the reality of the modern community. You utterly failed to take advantage of that opportunity and have perpetuated the perception that Scouting is backwards, fearful, and willfully blind.

I have been quietly disappointed in your policies for years, and I removed reference to my Eagle award from my resume over a decade ago because including it implied that I supported those policies, which was not helping my job search. Your decision of July 17 has pushed my disappointment to the point where I must speak out. If you believe that these policies reflect the wishes of your current and past members, I assure you that in my case at least, you could not be more wrong.

My son will not be a Scout until and unless these bigoted, exclusionary policies are changed. I dearly hope that this does not mean my son will never be a Scout. I have asked him to read this letter so that we can have a discussion about what it truly means to be “morally straight”.

George Mitchell
Formerly proud Eagle Scout

I chose not to return my Eagle award, as many other Eagles are doing, because I didn't want to give them an excuse to ignore me because I had chosen to dissociate myself from Scouting. No, I am still an Eagle, and I stand for inclusion and against bigotry.

ETA: Note that I am not criticizing those Eagles who have returned their medals; they are making their statement the way they think it should be made, and I have nothing but respect for their choice. I merely choose to make my statement slightly differently.
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