Perry condemns potential scouting change to allow gay members
February 2nd, 2013
10:06 PM ET
1 year ago

Perry condemns potential scouting change to allow gay members

(CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry spoke out Saturday against potential changes which could permit, for the first time, openly gay members in the Boy Scouts of America.

The BSA is "potentially discussing" changing their longstanding national rules on the matter at an upcoming meeting, the group said last week.

But Perry, a Republican and former presidential candidate, told a statewide gathering of scouts that such a change is not appropriate.

"Scouting is about teaching a substantial amount of life lessons," he said. "Sexuality is not one of them. It never has been; it doesn't need to be."

The Dallas Morning News said he told reporters after the event, "I think most people see absolutely no reason to change the position and neither do I."

Representatives from local scouting councils across the state gathered in Austin for the Report to State meeting.

Perry is a former Eagle Scout and wrote the book "On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For." His publisher says the book "explains the Scouts refusal to bend to the winds of political correctness by allowing activist homosexual scoutmasters" and addresses other scouting topics.

The potential change to the Scouts' rules follows protests after a den leader was forced out of her post because she is openly gay.

The organization made no changes to their policies on gay membership after a recent lengthy internal review.

But the issue is expected to resurface at a meeting this month.

Asked Sunday if the Boy Scouts should be open to gays, President Barack Obama said "yes."

"My attitude is gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does in every institution and walk of life," Obama said in an interview with CBS anchor Scott Pelley before the Super Bowl.

Obama said the organization exposed young people to opportunities and leadership, which "will serve people for the rest of their lives."

"And I think that nobody should be barred for that," he said.

One possible national policy would allow local chapters to determine whether to accept gay members. The statement said if the national board approved this, individual troops could dictate membership "consistent with each organization's mission, principles, or religious beliefs."

The Boy Scouts of America are based in Irving, Texas, just outside of Dallas.

– CNN's Gregory Wallace and Ashley Fantz contributed to this report


Filed under: Rick Perry
soundoff (289 Responses)
  1. Scott

    Apparently in Texas (from a public health perspective) learning the lessons that sexuality play in part of human development, from creation to disease, aren't lessons that Governor Perry want his citizens to be made aware of.

    February 3, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. Sapient

    "Scouting is about teaching a substantial amount of life lessons," he said. "Sexuality is not one of them. It never has been; it doesn't need to be.

    That's correct, Mr. Perry—sexuality has nothing to do with anyone's ability to teach valuable life lessons, so why are you making a big deal over only gay scout masters' sexuality?

    February 3, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  3. jcourtn1

    I bet he'd be okay with it if it was a gay guy with an assault weapon. Or, a wealthy gay person.

    Oh wait, Perry probably thinks abortion is okay in the case of a potential LGBT baby.

    No, abortion is bad but capital punishment is good because you're killing the living, not the potential living. That's way more interesting.

    Even he doesn't listen to the dumb stuff that comes out of his mouth!!

    February 3, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. BeadlesAz

    How is this newsworthy? It would have been newsworthy if Governor Perry was in favor of lifting the ban. Don't expect anything but pandering to the extreme right-wing by this buffoon.

    February 3, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. Nunya

    Under Rick Perry's tutelage the state of Texas is and continues to be the worst educated state in the entire US, with the highest amount of high school dropouts and least amount of adults with a high school diploma. And Rick Perry has lobbies, voted and signed off repeatedly on...CUTTING EDUCATION EVEN MORE in Texas. Perry...who can't even remember three things...he is a moron factory.

    February 3, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Jason B

    Could we just re-title this "Perry still pro-discrimination" ??

    February 3, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. janetlaw

    "Scouting is about teaching a substantial amount of life lessons," he said. "Sexuality is not one of them. It never has been; it doesn't need to be." So instead, teach them about hating others? That's not what I learned from scouting.

    February 3, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. MarkOkool

    I think Perry gets his info from the same book that ole "Mittster" got the 47% ref.... Whew, did we dodge a big freakin bullet !!!!

    February 3, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. RSG

    So why do people feel they have to change things to meet THEIR lifestyle. If BOA wants to omit gays, girls, lesbians, etc, leave them alone. BOA is what it is. If you change it, then it's no longer BOA. I was never a boy scout.. but if that's their creed, then so be it. I also have no problem with gays, except for the far radical ones who feel that everyone MUST like them, MUST accept them, MUST promote them, etc, etc... Organizations need to have their criteria that makes them who they are, if not, then what's the point. If BOA changes, then I'd rather they just go away forever because they just become another mediocre social club.

    February 3, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. jack johnson

    He could not get adults to listen to him, so now he is tring to get kids (with more brains than him) to listen to him.

    February 3, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. RSG

    Just to beat everyone to the punch... yeah, I know the rest of this story.. you're a racist, a bigot, etc, etc. That's the usual defense... just because someone feels differently, then apply that normal fill in the blanks title here _______________.

    February 3, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Clint

    Perry just another member of the GOP which is so much out of touch with America of 2013

    February 3, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. JPX

    Perry also doesn't believe in evolution. Why do we care about this ignorant dolt's opinion on anything? Typical republican intolerance. /why are the republicans on the wrong side of all social issues?

    February 3, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  14. Chris

    The Boy Scouts is a great organization and I wish every young boy has the opportunity to experience this organization. The gay issue is debatable and I respect people on both sides. I say allow gays. But strict monitoring and training is necessary for scouts, leaders, and parents to avoid discrimination and illegal behavior.

    February 3, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. leonid7

    Yet an another example of someone who somehow equates ending discrimination with teaching sexuality. Quite the fallacy of false equivalency.

    February 3, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  16. Ess1

    I agree with Perry, scouting should no teach sexuality. That is as far as my agreement with this ultra-right wing, narrow-minded, bigoted, out-of-touch with modern society (as is most of his GOP ilk), fool goes. Sexuality should not even be a question in scouting or anywhere else. Ergo, the discrimination against gays by BOA SHOULD be ended. Under that parameter, gay/straight sexuality wouldn't even be an issue.

    February 3, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. Steve - Dallas

    That's our governor - always ready to make a fool of himself.

    February 3, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. pchelp, Juneau, AK

    Scouts aren't about teaching sexuality. Absolutely-but they aren't about teaching bigotry either, but that's what they're doing. Being neutral about sexuality doesn't mean being pro-gay, except to bigots like Perry.

    February 3, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. Woman In California

    As a minority, I've experienced quite a bit of discrimination so I don't discriminate against gay people, but I also believe in the word of God so I will never accept this lifesytle as "right".

    February 3, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  20. B

    Rick Perry, proud recipient of the Boy Scout merit badges in Hatred, Homophobia and Bigotry.

    February 3, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. Chuckwagonx

    Room temp IQ, how does this guy continue to survive. Only in Texas.

    February 3, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. Wrathbrow

    "Woman In California

    As a minority, I've experienced quite a bit of discrimination so I don't discriminate against gay people, but I also believe in the word of God so I will never accept this lifesytle as "right"."

    Do consider what you might think if someone wrote:
    As a person, I've experienced quite a bit of discrimination so I don't discriminate against minority people, but I also believe in what I've read and been taught and will never accept these people as "right".

    After all, slavery was discussed in the bible.

    February 3, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. B

    RSG- Look up bigot in the dictionary. If Perry is trying to discriminate against anyone via governmental, corporate or organizational policies because of his own personal viewpoints, then he IS a bigot.

    February 3, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. CEE

    Congratulations Mr Perry, for completing your merit badges in Hatred, Bigotry and H0mopobia.

    February 3, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. dee1030

    Rick Perry promotes ignorance and is an embarrassment for our state of Texas. Unfortunately Texas is full of people with his mindset, who chose ignorance over education. If the BOA allow gays into their clubs it would not be about promoting a life style or sexuality, homosexual or heterosexual, but about inclusion where all are equal and subject to the same standards.

    February 3, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
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