Gay Teen No Longer Eagle Scout

After coming out, the 19-year-old was stripped of his honors and kicked out from the Boy Scouts

Eric Jones has been a Boy Scout since he was just nine years old. But this weekend, everything changed when the 19-year-old decided to come out to his scout leaders on Sunday and was promptly stripped of his Eagle Scout honors and asked to leave the organization.

This came after the Missouri State University student had been named as director of the camp in his native St. Joseph, Missouri. “Everything in the scout oath, everything is standing up for what’s right,” Jones told the local press. “Scouting was an outlet for me. An activity. Something I love and I was passionate about.”

But once the teen came out, leaders of the local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America asked him to leave and renounce everything he’s work for during the past decade. They said it was because of the scout’s policy not allowing gay scouts and leaders to serve in the organization – a decision that was recently upheld by the group after a two-year discussion about whether to amend the more than 100-year-old policy.

His story will be featured in an upcoming documentary by Ryan James YezakSecond Class Citizens – an encompassing look at anti-gay discrimination in America. He’s asking that people like Jones reach out to him if they, too, have been discriminated against over sexual orientation. Click to here to find out how you could be featured in the documentary.

“This is having an effect on our youth,” says Jones, who admits didn’t expect he would be asked to leave the organization after so many years. “You are seeing it. If anything, have some kind of compassion for them. Imagine if this was your child or a neighbor, a close friend going through this.”

Check it out:

Around The Web

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • DC Book Angel

    Sneaky lying perverted Sandusky and his ilk can all be Scouts and Scout Masters because of their standing alone, but honorable truthful hardworking young people are treated as pariahs because of simple biological differences. If those are the values of Boy Scouts of America, I am so glad my father is not alive to see this.

  • Terry

    Although I’m not Gay and I grew up in Scouts; this is a travesty. This young man worked hard and achieved the highest honor “Eagle.” To strip this away is totally wrong. I totally disagreee with his local Scout unit.

  • Ed

    I don’t know how a council can remove a rank from a former scout. The eagle rank is awarded by the national council, not a local council.

  • pk_boomer

    Shameful. What did this young man really do to deserve punishment? The Scouts organization needs to be boycotted until they have a dramatic change of heart.

  • Mike

    Disappointing. As the proud father of a son who worked through ADD and bi-polar disorder to just recently obtain his Eagle Scout, I am hurt by the Scouts decision. Should we strip individuals of their Eagle Scout for getting a divorce, a DUI, or other offenses that don’t meet what we think society (generalized) should be doing? Not acceptable. We may have demotivated one more citizen from helping others. The world can’t afford to lose that momentum from the few that have self generated it… It’s amazing how soon we forget to turn to the Scout Oath and Law for guidance. Shame.

    • Mike

      I also think the comments of Julia Ormond (Legends of the Fall actress etc.) for project ASSET as it relates to slavery and human trafficking are relevant. She tells companies that become aware of human trafficking within their operations to not just pull out and leave the country/operation (to avoid being tied to it), but to stay and make a difference. The same is true here. Don’t boycott Scouts and wait for them to change, become more engaged, more active and be a part of making the change rather than waiting for it…

      • Lois

        Unless you’re gay of course. Then you have to leave.

  • Jim

    I am proud of the scouts for standing up for what is right.

  • Sean

    As an Eagle Scout who spent most of his life involved in Scouting, this is just wrong. Over the past decade, I have slowly cut back on my support for and work with the Boy Scouts of America because of their ban on homosexuals. Their recent decision to uphold this archane rule had now led me to decide that I want nothing to do with the BSA. And to strip a young man of his Eagle Scout award was the last straw for me. By the way – I am straight. I have a young son and I was thinking about getting him involved in Scouting – just like his dad. Now…forget it! I will not expose my children to this kind of hatred and prejudice.

  • Bobby E.

    Then you are as short sighted as the scouts. Discrimination is never something to be proud of. Someday the Boy Scouts will figure that out.

  • Mark Hurwitz

    I am resigning from the National Eagle Scout Association in protest. The values I was taught as a scout are obviously not being continued by the current leadership of the BSA and some local Council leaders. Since the President of the United States is Honorary Chairman of the BSA I wouldn’t be surprised to see this become an issue in the upcoming election. Is this the planet Earth or have I have been transported elsewhere in some distant universe?

  • Michele

    I think this is all propaganda. I’m a full supporter of gay rights. Its your right to join a club. Bsa is an a-sexual environment. My 11 year old does not need any one around him who is discussing their sexuality. I don’t go around announcing I’m straight or gay. Its no ones business. Scouts is for teaching a boy to be a man. This kid announced he was gay and taped it for his agenda.
    His council cannot take away his Eagle. They removed him from a position of running a camp and being a leader. If I started to talk about my sexuality, I would hope they would do the same to me. Its about protecting our children from adult topics. Keep your mouth shut and help lead these boys to be men. Not boys who feel entitled. We have enough of entitled boys in this next generation.
    I agree with bsa. If your straight, gay, transgender, or just not sure… Its not information a young kid needs to know.

  • http://none Michael Coutu

    Needless to say, this is not a good thing. However there are some facts that must be ststed. First and formost, not unit has the power to recinds a rank once it has been registererd with the national council. This young manis analways will be an Eagle Scout. Evben national has no auithority to rescind the rank. I was the chair of the Eagle Board of Review for our district so I know what is and is not allowed. Once a rank has been accepted by the national office it cannot be rescinded. Someone may have asked him to resign and may have said he was stripped of his rank, but that can’t happen. He should go to national and get it in writing.

  • zach

    I agree. i am also an eagle scout, and have worked hard for this rank. the thought that it could be taken away just because someone doesnt like me is unacceptable

  • David

    Yes you can be striped of you Eagle award, but only the BSA National Committee can do this, the local council would send in a recommendation for review. Yes this can be done and has been done and will be done again.

  • HTH

    I am an assistant scout master and father of an eagle scout. I have been involved in scouting for many years. I know first hand what a scout has to do for many years to achieve scoutings highest honor. the rank of eagle is not just handed out the scout works very hard to get there. as long as he has not committed any crime against another human being or society i feel that no one should be able to strip him of his honor. i don’t think his private life should affect him. i personally feel that being homosexual is not right or natural, but that has no bearing on the quality of a person the boy should have his honor restored. time have changed and so has society. 30 years ago gays were beaten for being gay, not it is everywhere and accepted, some states allow for gay marriage
    the scouts need to come into the century.

  • nutster

    The Boy Scouts like to advertise their famous Eagle Scouts. That’s cool. My favorite one that I don’t know is Mike Rowe (Tough Jobs fame) who basically says, “yeah, you are an Eagle Scout…..big ass deal….go do something with it.” I personally know 3 grown Eagle Scouts. One was “pillar of society” businessman convicted of video taping sex acts of guests in his own home, another is a sociopath that has a restraining order against him, and the other HATES his mother (and…well…I know his mother….the mother is a GREAT person…and…not sure if scouts teaches Guy101…”you don’t get to hate your mother….unless she is just horrible.”) The Point? Young Eric… did the work….and that is what is important. Take that same commitment and DO SOMETHING in this world and FORGET about the Boy Scouts and their small minds. It’s arts and crafts for boys. The BEST revenge is a life well lived.