The Boy Scouts of America historically has been at odds with the LGBT community, but that didn't stop one Eagle Scout and his dad from showing their support for same-sex couples marrying in Utah. And they did it with cheese and pepperoni pizza.
Peter Brownstein, a former scoutmaster, and his 14-year-old Eagle Scout son, Michael, showed up in uniform to the Salt Lake county clerk's office on Monday, bearing 10 large pizzas, slices of which they freely handed out to the dozens of same-sex couples waiting in line for marriage licenses.
Since a district judge struck down Utah's ban on gay marriage earlier this month, the Salt Lake county clerk's office has been flooded with couples, standing in long lines that have at times extended outside for blocks. Mayor Rudolph Becker called it "a thrilling pandemonium."
Thrilling while it may be, it's also an incredibly long wait, especially for families with children in tow.
Explaining his gesture, Brownstein told CNN, "I would say that it's meant to show what true Scouting values are—of thinking of others and helping others and not being selective about who you are helping."
But how long the rush can last is up for debate. Utah officials opposed to marriage equality plan to take their case to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking for a halt to same-sex marriages in the state until they can exhaust their legal appeals.
Brownstein has long been a supporter of equal rights. While a scoutmaster for the now disbanded Troop 351, he appeared in uniform at a gay pride festival last June—a move he said was meant to show support for cultural diversity. Not everybody appreciated the sentiment, however, and what followed shortly after was a letter from the organization's executive members who wrote, "We are very disappointed that you used Scouting to advance the gay agenda."
The Boy Scouts of America made headlines earlier this year when they voted to lift their controversial ban on gay boy scouts, but continued to prohibit gay scoutmasters. Some called it a step in the right direction for the historically conservative organization, while others criticized the move for continuing a culture of discrimination.
Brownstein and his son Michael seem unfazed by any possible consequences they may face for supporting marriage equality while in uniform. Michael Brownstein told CNN, "I see it as simply providing a service," while his father said he would do it all again "in a heartbeat."
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Original article from TakePart