(Photo by M. Spencer Green/AP)
It began with hope for change, and resulted in a letter written with a heavy heart. For Rev. Ken Jones of Yakima, Wash., the choice to return his Eagle Scout medal was not an easy one, but a necessary response to a decades-old exclusionary policy from the Boy Scouts of America.
The BSA has maintained a policy that prohibits openly gay individuals from serving in leadership positions and in its ranks. Each time the policy has been challenged and questioned over the years, the BSA has reaffirmed its position.
After the most recent challenge, which resulted an 11-member committee last month once again affirming it would uphold the BSA’s policy, some Scouts decided to turn in their medals.
'I beg God to forgive me'
For Rev. Jones the many positive experiences and happy memories of being a Scout were not enough to erase some of the darker moments that shed a light on the BSA’s exclusionary policy.
In his letter to the BSA National Executive Board, Jones recalls a time when he and his fellow Scouts bullied another Scout to the point of tears.
"When I look back on that, it fees like the policy that they [the BSA] have about exclusion is something that really encourages kids to participate in that kind of bullying," Jones said in an interview with Lean Forward…