I was not a Boy Scout growing up. But some of my friends and cousins were, and I know the insane amount of work that goes into becoming an Eagle Scout, and the absolute amount of well-earned pride that goes along with it.

So, I understand how heart-wrenching it must be for these men to give up their badges in protest of the Boy Scouts of America’s anti-gay policy.

There are several letters in the above link, and more here:

But what struck me most was the ages of the men in the letters. Many of the examples in the article state that the Eagle Scout rank was attained in the 60s or 70s.

These are not men of my generation. They are men of my parent’s generation, raised in a time when it was not okay to be openly gay, and when doing so would be outright dangerous. Heck, it still is some places in the US.

To these men, I say thank you. Thank you for looking beyond the surface and getting to the meaning at the core of the values you were taught.

Thank you for being men of integrity. Our world needs more of you.