Ryan Andresen, Gay Boy Scout, To Be Honored By California State Assembly

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A Moraga Boy Scout denied his Eagle Scout status because of his sexual orientation will be honored for his bravery Monday by a member of the California State Assembly.

Ryan Andresen, 18, a senior at Maybeck High in Berkeley, will be honored by Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, at the noon opening of Monday's Legislative session. Andresen has been the spotlight since being denied his Eagle Award and being removed from Scouts after coming out as gay earlier this year.

For his Eagle Scout project, Andresen built a tolerance wall at Joaquin Moraga Middle School to discourage bullying.

Andresen's mother responded by starting an online petition on Change.org that has gathered more than 425,000 signatures from around the world requesting Scouts change its policies on gays. U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom endorsed the petition, and Andresen has told his story on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and on "Anderson Cooper 360."

The petition was turned into the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council in October. The council oversees scouting in Moraga.

Rick Hurd covers breaking news. Contact him in Antioch at 925-779-7166 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH. ___

(c)2012 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)

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