Maryland Teen Can Finally Become an Eagle Scout, Now That Gay Ban is Finally Lifted

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The Tessier brothers. Photo via GLAAD.
The Tessier brothers. Photo via GLAAD.

Pascal Tessier was total Eagle Scout material. The Kensington, Maryland teen is an upstanding citizen who is passionate about helping his community. But even though he fulfilled all the requirements for his Eagle Award, the Boy Scouts of America threatened to withhold it from him… because he’s gay.

But Tessier can consider himself a proud Eagle as of yesterday, when the BSA finally lifted their stupid ban on gay scouts– thanks in part to Tessier’s own activism.

Whereas some teens might have taken the ban at face value, Tessier and his brother (also a gay Eagle Scout) made it into a call for action. They launched a petition that gained national attention. As a result, the BSA sent out a bunch of membership surveys and learned that scouts and their families overwhelmingly believed that it wasn’t cool to prevent gay kids from becoming Eagle Scouts. After a May vote on the issue, the BSA lifted its ban; the new rule went into effect yesterday. In honor of his activism, OUT Magazine named Tessier as one of the year’s most compelling people.

Tessier’s not one to rest on his laurels; he’s still campaigning to let openly gay adults be involved in scouting activity. But he’s also not bitter about his scout experience:  “I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the Boy Scouts,” he told the Washington Post.



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