By Gary Lloyd
A Trussville attorney is returning his Eagle Scout badge to the Boy Scouts of America after a May 23 vote of the National Council to allow openly gay boys into Scouting.
Bill Bright said he will mail his badge with a letter to the Greater Alabama Council Boy Scouts of America in Birmingham.
“This is not a tremendous thing here,” Bright said. “I’m just sending it back to them in the mail and telling them, ‘Thanks but no thanks.’”
Bright, 62, earned his Eagle Scout badge in the 1960s when he was 15 or 16. His troop was sponsored by Huffman United Methodist Church. Bright said he can’t agree with the Boy Scouts of America’s decision.
“I don’t see where forcing gays on young boys is the right thing to do,” said Bright, who has lived in Trussville for 30 years.
Bright said the vote to allow openly gay youth into Scouting tells him that the Boy Scouts of America is endorsing that kind of sexual activity.
“That, to me, means that you are practicing that kind of lifestyle,” Bright said. “If you’re 11 years old and practicing that kind of lifestyle, I see that as a very disturbing thing for my 11-year-old to go camping overnight in a tent.”
Bright said he doubts returning his badge will make a difference.
“But somebody needs to say, ‘Whoa, stop this,’” he said.
Bright said since earning his Eagle Scout badge, he hasn’t been heavily involved with the Boy Scouts other than raising money and donating.
“Whenever they’ve called, I’ve responded,” he said.
Bright compared returning his badge to resigning from a company that has changed its philosophy to something you don’t agree with.
“I just want them to know that I don’t want it anymore,” Bright said. “I don’t want to be a part of it. I want them to know that probably the highest honor you can get in Scouting, which you have to work extremely hard for, is no longer an honor to me.”
Contact Gary Lloyd at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.