Boy Scout Troop Leader And His Eagle Scout Son Deliver Pizza To Gay Couples Waiting To Get Married

Boy Scouts Pizza Utah

Boy Scout Troop leader in Utah and his son, an Eagle Scout, brought sustenance to gays and lesbians waiting in line to get married:

CNN) – Amid the women in lacy wedding veils and the men in spiffy suits at the county clerk’s office was Peter Brownstein. He’d replaced the blue neckerchief of his Scoutmaster’s uniform with one in the colors of the rainbow, the colors of gay pride. He carried boxes of hot pepperoni and cheese pizzas in his arms. And by his side, he had his son Michael, a 14-year-old Eagle Scout.

Brownstein, 52, had gone down to the Salt Lake City office to bear witness to a marriage. What he found Monday morning was a line that snaked along halls on two floors of the building. Gay couples had rushed in to tie the knot after a district judge struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage. Mayor Ralph Becker called it a “thrilling pandemonium.”

Many had been waiting for hours. Some brought along children in strollers. They were all hungry. As were the employees of the clerk’s office, who skipped lunch to process the crush of marriage certificate applications.

Brownstein went down to the Little Caesar’s and picked up 10 pizzas. He and Michael handed out slices to the employees and the couples waiting to wed.

Their generosity was appreciated. Their courage, noticed.

That they performed this task dressed in their Scout uniforms immediately drew attention. Cell-phone photos went off to Twitter and Facebook. Comments like this got posted on blogs:

“Utah. Boy scouts. Delivering pizzas. To support. Gay marriage. The. End.” Joanna Brooks wrote those words in the online Religion Dispatches.

Yes, this was conservative Utah, the epicenter of Mormonism. Yes, Brownstein was affiliated with the Scouts, an organization that has been mired in controversy over its policies on homosexuality and earlier this year voted to allow openly gay youths to join. The vote caused an uproar among conservative and some religious organizations that argued the change would dilute the Scout message of morality.

Brownstein is no stranger to any of that controversy.

As leader of Boy Scout Troop 351, he’s long advocated for the Scouts to accept all boys and men into the organization. He was reprimanded last June for participating in full uniform in the Utah pride parade in Salt Lake City.

“We are very disappointed that you used Scouting to advance the gay agenda,” wrote Bry Davis, council president, and Rick Barnes, Scout executive.

The United Jewish Federation of Utah, the sponsor of Troop 351, suspended all its activities.

Brownstein was disappointed. He didn’t see his actions as promoting any agenda or violating any Boy Scout rules. He saw the parade as a celebration of cultural diversity.

Will Brownstein be disciplined for this latest action? It’s certainly quite possible. If it happens, though, it’s the Boy Scouts that will be the ones who look foolish.

FILED UNDER: Religion, Uncategorized, , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    My father was big in Scouting. Real big. (Silver Beaver and all) As conservative as he was I can not say how he would have felt about gay marriage, but I do know he excepted more than one gay person into his life with love and as a human being with an equal right to happiness. I can not help but see him doing the same.

  2. Franklin says:

    Feeding hungry people? Yup, a reprimand for that would look pretty stupid.

  3. ernieyeball says:

    There IS hope for the humans after all! I am dumbfounded!

  4. James Pearce says:

    That’s awesome of these guys. Both man and boy are of tremendous character.

    But man should have told boy to comb his hair. That’s a serious case of bed head.

  5. John Peabody says:

    If you haven’t heard, the number of scouts and leaders leaving scouting is enormous, and has affected the membership rates. The national organization has approved plans to allow wholsale defections to alternate organizations that will maintain the ‘ban on gays’. The packs and troops that remain may wither and die.

  6. Tony W says:

    If BSA executives had not chosen the hate-filled-Christian route and instead stuck to the outdoorsman heritage, my grandson would be enjoying the fun and fellowship of a rainy night in the woods with 20 other boys and a group of leaders wondering what the heck they were thinking. As it is, I suppose he’ll just play X-Box. Good for capitalism – but bad for society.

  7. Mikey says:

    a 14-year-old Eagle Scout

    Holy crap. That is one young Eagle Scout.

    To put it in perspective for anyone not familiar with Scouting, most boys don’t even transition from Cub Scout to Boy Scout until they are 11, and the average age of Scouts who make Eagle is 17.

  8. KM says:

    This is what Scouting is supposed to be. Hallelujah, I thought it had died!

    Teaching young men honor, dignity and service by going out and actually doing something for their fellow man. Doesn’t matter if you agree with them or support them, you help if you can. You see someone in need of assistance, you lend a hand. Minor courtesies that make a difference in the life of someone else. 5 minutes out of your day for another human being you may never see again.

    Kindness. Respect. Eager civil participation. Manners. Well done, boys!

  9. CB says:

    In a way, this is kind of insulting and offensive to me. It messes with tradition and comes across as fake and unsubstantial. In my heart of hearts, I can’t condone this kind of activity.

    I mean, come on, you can’t call that pizza. Look at that abomination. That’s a cheap imitation of what a pizza might kinda sorta look like. Freakin’ Utah. Like I said, offensive.

  10. James Pearce says:


    That is one young Eagle Scout.

    Nepotism. Dad’s the Scout Leader.

    (Okay, so maybe that’s not so much an indication of nepotism as it is dedication.)

  11. James Pearce says:


    I mean, come on, you can’t call that pizza.

    Chicago or New York? I know you’re not from California because their criteria for a pizza is so generous that a tostada would count.

  12. CB says:

    Central Jersey born and raised, so New York all the way.

    Outside of Chicago, I’m convinced there’s no real pizza west of the Delaware.

  13. Moderate Mom says:

    @CB: My all time favorite pizza place is John’s Pizza, on Bleeker, in the Village. Every trip to NYC includes a lunch stop there.

  14. rudderpedals says:

    @CB: You’re right about no pizza west of the Delaware. With all due respect to my friends who live in the city of broad shoulders a cheese and tomato paste pot pie isn’t pizza.

  15. Tillman says:

    It’s a good thing this country is vast, encapsulating many cultures with a few overarching national cultural threads, because otherwise we would go to war with each other over the stupidest things.

  16. Matt says:

    @James Pearce: My grandma was a pack leader and I got that bullshit all the time. “You only have all those badges because she gave them to you” Bullshit I worked harder then anyone else in the pack because I AM her grandson. I HAD to earn every single one of those badges and I had to do it the proper way too while some of the other scouts would cheat to get theirs easier/quicker.

    So basically your assumption actually angers me some. Which is a bit of a rarity for me and the internet.

    Although your final line does redeem the post some.

  17. James Pearce says:


    Although your final line does redeem the post some.

    Sorry, Matt. The “nepotism” crack was a joke. I have no doubt that while the kid could rely on Dad’s support, he earned every badge and every honor himself.

  18. Matt says:

    @James Pearce: I apparently have some unresolved anger towards that situation.

    There is always the possibility though and you were right to point that out.