Hey kittens, it’s #TBT and time for a vintage episode of the podcast. In honor of the recent decision of the Boy Scouts of America executive board to remove the ban on gay scout leaders, we’re revisiting an interview that originally went up in July of 2012.
Have you ever been in a long term, committed relationship with someone and one day realized you just couldn’t do it anymore? That despite your great affection, all the cherished memories and powerful lessons, but that you had simply headed in such wildly divergent directions that staying together had become impossible? Have you ever looked across the table at someone whom you loved (and for whom you only want good things) and had to tell them it was over?
Then you can appreciate Martin Cizmar’s decision to tell the Boy Scouts of America where they could put their medals. An Eagle Scout who had invested years into the organization, Martin was dismayed by the decision of a secret panel to reaffirm the group’s anti-gay policy. No gay scouts, scout leaders, even den mothers. If you’re “out,” you’re out.
Over his lunch break, he sent a letter that was as touching as it was reasonable and mailed it to the Scout leadership in Texas, along with his hard-earned medals. It went viral on Reddit immediately, along with similar letters written by other grown scouts who refused to tolerate the politicization and institutionalized discrimination coming from a place that they’d once called home.
Martin and I chat about his letter, the possible motivations for the BSA’s policy in a time when homophobia is becoming a suicidal business tactic, why this matters so much and best potential outcomes of protests such as his. Aside from being a man of principle, he’s also a fan-frickin-tastic interviewee and I think you’ll love hearing his story as much as I did.
Listen to the interview here or on iTunes.
Read his letter below: