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San Diego Eagle Scout Returns Honors

Evening Edition

— San Diegan Daniel Brogan is speaking out about the Boy Scout's anti-gay policy. He reached the pinnacle of scouting in 1962, when President John F Kennedy signed the certificate that announced to the world that Brogan had achieved a long standing goal in his young life, to become an Eagle Scout.

Aired 11/5/12 on KPBS News.

A retired San Diego architect hopes returning his Eagle Scout badge will add to the building crescendo of opposition to a long running Boy Scout policy. This past summer, the Scouts reaffirmed their opposition to accepting openly gay members.

"This was one of the key components in the steps of my life, and it helped in shaping my values," said Brogan.

The local newspaper recorded the event, with mom and dad looking on.

"If you look at the history. The people who've gotten this award, I think its like 2 percent of scouting, but if you look at the individuals, there's a lot of leadership that is brought to bear and you learn about leadership early on," said Brogan.

Now, it is time to employ some of those leadership lessons, said Brogan. That's why he's returning the badges, sashes and certificates. And he's including a letter saying why. He wants the scouts to know that their anti-gay policy reinforces bigotry and there's no reason for it.

"To take a group of kids and ostracize them because of their orientation is just wrong. So my purpose here is to hopefully accelerate a change that's inevitable. It's going to happen," said Brogan.

Brogan, who's married with grown children, is joining hundreds of other eagle scouts who've already returned their badges since summer. It is an idea that has been bubbling for a while.

"Most of these things, like every other cause, most of these things, most of it has to do with timing, momentum, and the strength of support that you have for the cause. This is the time," said Brogan.

KPBS contacted the Boy Scouts of America and they sent us a written statement.

"Each year more than 50,000 young men earn the rank of Eagle Scout, totaling to over 2 million. Although we are disappointed to learn of anyone who feels compelled to return his Eagle rank, we respect their right to express an opinion. While a majority of our membership agrees with our policy, we fully understand and appreciate that not everyone will agree with any one position or policy."

Daniel Brogan said he's hopeful the scouts will change their position and if they do he would like to get his badges and certificates back.

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