Twin brothers who’ve been Boy Scouts together since age 11 and were just recognized as Eagle Scouts, the highest scout rank attainable, are looking at very different futures with the organization as one of the brothers will soon be kicked out.
Liam Easton-Calabria says his days with the scouts are numbered due to a Boy Scout policy that prohibits gay adults from participating.
“Right now, I would not be able to apply for any leadership jobs in the Boy Scouts because I turned 18,” Liam tells KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.
The Boy Scouts began accepting gay youth for the first time this year but they continue to exclude openly gay adults from leadership.
Liam came out when he was 16. While he can continue with the group as a youth member until age 21, once he reaches that age he will no longer be able to participate.
His twin brother August says if Liam is kicked out at 21, the Boy Scouts will be losing a great member.
“I find it completely ridiculous,” says August. “Not only do I consider myself so much like my brother, but I look up to my brother in so many ways for moral guidance, which is actually exactly what the Boy Scouts are trying to keep him out for. They’re reasoning that he’s immoral.”
August doesn’t understand how the Boy Scouts can accept Liam as a gay member at age 18, but can’t accept him as a gay member past 21.
“It sends a very destructive message to gay scouts and straight scouts,” says August. “Even if they’re allowed in Boy Scouts, if they know that they’re going to get kicked out when they’re older, what does that say?”
Though the two brothers disagree with the Boy Scouts policy, they say there’s still a great deal that the organization offers.
“We both love Boy Scouts and I know that this can be changed. I love every other part of Boy Scouts. It’s just this one thing that we need to get turned around and we’re close,” says August.
Rather than abandoning the scouts, Liam says he plans to stick with it as long as he’s allowed to try to get the organization to change.
“I really want to kind of change the organization from within,” says Liam. “The policy hasn’t been around over 100 years of scouting. It started around 30 years ago and it’s really, it’s not what it’s about. Scouting is way more than a non-inclusive organization, the message should not be anything near that.”