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Originally published Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 3:23 PM

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Wash. lawyer returns Eagle Scout badge in protest

A Seattle lawyer is turning in his Eagle Scout badge in protest of the Boy Scouts of America's ban on gays.

The Associated Press

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I have been a Den Leader, Cubmaster, and am currently a Venturing Crew Adviser. My... MORE
I doubt there are hundreds of eagle scouts sending their badges back! If you lay all... MORE
Thank you, eldest son of westmich, for turning in your Eagle pin. By terminating your... MORE

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SEATTLE —

A Seattle lawyer is turning in his Eagle Scout badge in protest of the Boy Scouts of America's ban on gays.

Joseph Shaeffer is a civil rights and employment attorney with the firm McDonald, Hoague and Bayless. He says he was a scout in Tallahassee, Fla., and became an Eagle Scout in 1987.

He mailed back his badge last week, saying he was joining hundreds of other Eagle Scouts in protest. He wrote that "instead of living up to its values, the Boy Scouts have chosen to exclude people because of who they love."

The organization has been wrestling with the issue. The 1,400 voting members of the BSA's National Council will vote May 20 on a proposal to allow sponsors of individual Scout units to decide whether to admit gays.

About 70 percent of all Scout units are sponsored by religious denominations, including many by conservative faiths that have supported the ban, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Mormon church, and the Southern Baptist Convention.

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