Straight Brother Pushes Boy Scouts To Accept His Gay Twin

Mar 26, 2015 at 10:38 AM ET

August Easton-Calabriand and his twin brother, Liam, joined their local Seattle Boy Scouts chapter when they were 11 years old. They then dedicated the next seven years of their lives to the organization, and last year attained the highest possible rank of Eagle Scout. But now that they’re 18, the twins’ involvement in the group is less certain—all because Liam is gay.

Last year, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) overturned its 104-year ban on gay scouts, following sustained criticism. However, the youth group still openly discriminates against potential scout leaders “who are open or avowed homosexuals,” leaving August torn between his brother and the Scouts.

Instead of turning his back on either, though, August has launched a petition he hopes will convince the organization to change its prejudicial stance on gay parents and volunteers. He cites how their father’s role as an Assistant Scoutmaster helped the trio to bond, and wants the same opportunity for his brother.

“The BSA needs to let my brother become a scout leader regardless of his sexual orientation. He is an Eagle Scout and became the senior patrol leader of our troop. He has achieved the highest rank in scouting and now, suddenly, he will be kicked out,” August tells Vocativ. “What example does that set for the gay scouts currently in the program, who will be kicked out once they become adults? It tells them that even if they achieve, learn and grow in the program, they are still not good enough for the BSA. It is ridiculous and contradictory, kicking gay scouts out when they become adults. It needs to end, and end now.”

It’s not the first time the twins have gone up against the Boy Scouts’ National Council. Last year, they delivered 125,000 signatures to Amazon, asking the online retailer to withdraw its financial backing until the BSA agrees to allow everyone to take part. They also took part in a short documentary (below) that explains how the dated policy impacts the young gay men within its ranks.

Read more

Chief Seattle Council: Declare Your Support for Ending the BSA’s Anti-gay Policy (Change)
Nashville School Turns Away Students With Gay Parents (Vocativ)
Straight Eagle Scout launches petition drive to keep his gay twin in Boy Scouts (Gay Star News)