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Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:23 PM

Eagle Scouts return badges to protest policy banning gays

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/02/13074659-eagle-scouts-return-badges-to-protest-policy-banning-gays?lite

Bill DeVos, a Scoutmaster in upstate New York, packed up his Eagle Scout medal, badge and knot, and mailed the awards to the Boy Scoutsí headquarters in Texas.

Though it was hard to part with the symbols of his Scouting achievements that harkened to his childhood, the 56-year-old father of two Eagle Scouts said he didnít want them as long as the organization kept its ban on gay Scouts and leaders.

In doing so, DeVos, joined dozens of other Eagle Scouts who said in online postings that they have sent back their medals, badges or certificates following the Boy Scoutsí announcement on July 17 that it would keep the ban on gays in place after a confidential, two-year review. DeVos was hoping to remain part of the Scouts organization and push for change from within, but others who returned medals said they were done with the organization.

Smith, the BSA spokesman, said there were no plans to revisit the membership policy. He said while it was rare for medals or badges to be returned, it was not unprecedented. The items will be kept at the national office or the National Scouting Museum.

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