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Former Eagle Scout, who is straight, returns his badge to Boy Scouts of America

Martin Cizmar: 'There is no fair reason they should not be allowed to participate in scouting'

Describing his gesture as 'kind of sad, but important,' a former Eagle Scout has returned his badge to the Boy Scouts of America because of its policy that bans gays.

Martin Cizmar, who is straight, posted a letter to BSA leaders on his Facebook page which stated in part: 'Though I didn't know at the time, I was acquainted with a number of gay scouts and scouters. They were all great men, loyal to the scout oath and motto and helpful to the movement. There is no fair reason they should not be allowed to participate in scouting.'

The BSA announced on Tuesday (17 July) that it has no plans to lift its ban on gay members after what it says was two years of consideration by an 11-person committee.

'A national policy on sexuality forces good, principled people from scouting,' Cizmar wrote in his letter. 'I can only hope that someone inside the BSA has the courage to fix this policy before the organization withers into irrelevance.'

He concluded: 'I don't want to be an Eagle Scout if a young man who is gay can't be one, too.'

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