Eagle Scout rejects medal over Scouts' exclusion of gay members

SEATTLE -- Honesty, bravery, and loyalty are all Boy Scout oaths that helped shape and mold a Seattle man. But now he says he's living up to that creed by returning the Boy Scouts' highest award that took him years to earn.

Even more than 20 years later, Jim Morrison proudly displays his Boy Scout uniform, but one badge epitomizes all of his many achievements -- the Eagle Scout medal.

Only 2 percent of Boy Scouts ever earn it, then only after years of commitment and earning at least 21 merit badges.

Up until Thursday, Morrison kept his medal on his computer. But now, it's no longer there.

"Yesterday, I sent back my Eagle Scout medal in protest of the Boy Scouts' policy of discrimination," Morrison said.

This week, the Boy Scouts of America announced results of its two year internal review process, which reportedly included extensive research and evaluations. Leaders voted to continue excluding openly gay members and leaders.

Morrison takes the ban personally.

"Oh, I knew I was gay, absolutely," he says. "I would have been kicked out of Scouts."

The Boy Scouts' local leadership would not comment about the policy, but the group's Chief Scout Executive said in a statement: "While a vast majority of our membership agrees with our policy, we fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society."

They added: "The vast majority of the parents of youth (it) serves value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family" or spiritual setting.

Morrison feels he's living up to his oath.

"I will not be part of a bigoted, ignorant and misguided organization," he said. "Being morally straight includes being honest about who you are."