Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board

1325 Walnut Hill Lane
PO 152079
Irving, Texas 75015-2079

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

Because of your reaffirmation of your policy to ban openly gay members, it is with a heavy heart and with sorrow, that I relinquish my rank of Eagle Scout and any past or present affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America.

Until the past month, I have been a proud Eagle Scout and strove to live the values I was taught as a boy and a young man. I was a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow, I worked at Philmont Scout Ranch as a Ranger and have credited the Boy Scouts as the reason I have found meaningful success in my adulthood. I’ve held the rank of Eagle since the paperwork was signed on my Eagle packet at my final review board on November 14, 2002. That day is seared in my memory, not only because I attended my final board, but because I also attended the funeral of one of my best friends and fellow Eagle Scout who died in a car wreck. I do not take this renunciation lightly and it is one of the hardest things I have ever done.

I’m not doing this because of my opinion on homosexuality. While I support same-sex marriage and equality, this has nothing to do with why I am currently ashamed to be a part of the present-day Boy Scouts of America. Religious equality and diversity was one of the most meaningful values I was taught during my time as a Scout. As a Protestant, I attended my first and only Catholic Mass and Latter-Day Saints service as a Scout. There are religions and denominations that accept the equality of same-sex couples and their beliefs should be respected as well.

We came together as a Troop of boys from different backgrounds, religions and beliefs and found a common ground to do what was best for our community and country. That was the Boy Scouts of America I was proud to be a part of, but it is not the organization that exists today.

I have always wanted my future sons to be a part of the Boy Scouts of America. I truly hope that you will reconsider your policy of discrimination, so that future generations can enjoy the same privilege I had and so I can once again proudly call myself an Eagle Scout.

A Scout is Brave.

A Scout can face danger although he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him.

-The 10th Point of the Scout Law, excerpted from the Boy Scout Handbook, 11th Edition.


Joseph Hartman

Troop 146

Last Frontier Council, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


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