A straight Eagle Scout has launched a petition to advocate for the rights of his gay twin brother.
August Easton-Calabria and his gay twin, Liam, earned the rank of Eagle Scout last year after a lifetime of participation in Boy Scouts of America. Their father, who is also a lifelong member of BSA, served as assistant patrol leader in their Seattle-area troop.
But now that the twins have turned 18 this year, Liam can no longer participate in the BSA, due to the organization's current policy of not allowing gay adults to serve as leaders. A ban on gay youth was lifted last year.
In response, Easton-Calabria has started a Change.org petition to end the discriminatory policy, and thus allow his brother to help him continue on the "family legacy of Scouting."
"My brother embodies the Scout Oath and Law and was a leader among our Troop," he writes. "Liam took on the responsibility of Patrol Leader at age 14. After two years, the Scouts in our Troop elected Liam as their Senior Patrol Leader. He earned the admiration and loyalty of our fellow Scouts because of his integrity. The fact that Liam is gay did not affect his relationship with anyone. It has nothing to do with the content of his character."
In a letter attached to the petition, Easton-Calabria urges Rob McKenna, the president of BSA's Chief Seattle Council and the former attorney general of Washington, to stand up to the National Council against this prejudice.
"This policy undermines the important work of the BSA. It diminishes the BSA's reputation, membership and fundraising," he states. "Your words will bring hope to many in our local Council and our community who struggle with the BSA's prejudice."
"All Scouts deserve an equal chance to continue their service to Scouting," he concludes. "All parents deserve an equal chance to be a part of their son's Scouting experience."
The Change.org petition has received nearly 20,000 signatures by the time of this article's posting. It requires 25,000 to reach its goal.