MORAGA -- Several Bay Area political leaders have voiced support for a Moraga teenager who was recently expelled from the Boy Scouts -- and denied Eagle Scout rank -- after acknowledging he is gay.

This week, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a former Webelos Scout, sent a letter to the Boy Scouts' Mt. Diablo Silverado Council, based in Pleasant Hill, on behalf of Ryan Andresen.

"In defending this hurtful and discriminatory policy barring gay youth and leaders, the Boy Scouts of America are simply standing on the wrong side of history. And in doing so, the Boy Scouts are hurting the very people that you aim to serve: the young men who participate in your programs," Newsom said in his letter.

Support from Newsom and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer follows that of 32 state legislators, organized by state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco. The letter, addressed to Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council Scout Executive John Fenoglio and Boy Scouts of America President Wayne Perry, calls on the Boy Scouts to honor Andresen's application to obtain the Eagle rank and to end the Scouts' long-standing policy barring gay youth and leaders.

Several large corporations, including UPS, Intel, AT&T and Ernst & Young, have also called for an end to Boy Scout policies they view as discriminatory.



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