Via TPM, Pascal Tessier is the first openly gay Boy Scout to reach Eagle Scout status.
For Tessier, it represents six years of work, 27 merit badges and projects in service, leadership and outdoor skills. He put all that at risk, though, to advocate publicly against the Scouts ban on gays.
For more than a year, Tessier, who lives in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Kensington, has been one of the most prominent openly gay scouts speaking out to change the Scouts’ longstanding ban. After a vote last year, the organization of 2.5 million youth members officially opened its doors to include all boys, regardless of sexual orientation. A ban on gay adult leaders remains in place.