Santorum says scouts may not survive if gays allowed
February 4th, 2013
11:38 AM ET
1 year ago

Santorum says scouts may not survive if gays allowed

(CNN) – Potential changes which could end the ban on gay boy scouts signal "a challenge to the Scouts' very nature," conservative activist and former Sen. Rick Santorum wrote Monday.

His column, published online on the right wing website World Net Daily, comes as the Boy Scouts of America prepares to discuss changing their longstanding national ban on gay scouts and scoutmasters at an upcoming meeting.

Removing that ban is "another example of the left attempting to remove God from all areas of public life," Santorum alleged in his op-ed, pointing to a "long list of liberal victories" that he said included abortion, affirmative action and "sexual liberation."

"Scouting may not survive this transformation of American society, but for the sake of the average boy in America, I hope the board of the Scouts doesn't have its fingerprints on the murder weapon," he wrote.

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.

One possible change to national policy would allow local chapters to determine whether to accept gay members. If the national board approved that measure, individual troops could dictate membership "consistent with each organization's mission, principles, or religious beliefs," according to a statement last week.

That alteration of policy would be equally devastating, Santorum wrote, since troops that maintain their ban on gay scouts would no longer be protected from legal protection against civil lawsuits. He also predicted those troops hoping to preserve the ban would simply leave the organization altogether.

"Many will simply leave and pursue alternative ways to continue to invest in the development of their young men's character, leaving the Scouts hollowed out at its core," he wrote.

The former GOP presidential candidate also identified a socio-economic divide in the debate over allowing gay boy scouts, asserting the wealthy CEOs who comprise the Boy Scouts' board would be shielded from the negative effects of lifting the ban.

"It makes sense that men at the top of the food chain whose boys are insulated, although not immune, from the harmful effects of societal change are behind this effort," he said.

Rick Perry, the Texas governor and another former GOP presidential candidate, weighed in against the ending the ban on Saturday, telling a statewide gathering of scouts that "most people see absolutely no reason to change the position and neither do I."

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

CNN's Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.


Filed under: Rick Santorum
soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. Tom Thomas

    I thought Rick Santorium was a Christian. If he believes in God I wonder who he thinks made LGBT people. If he believes in God why is he questioning Gods work, there are a lot of questions a bout Rick Santorium that make me think he is an avowed racist and hippocrit.

    February 4, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. Lisa

    Another example of a so-called Christian spouting views that are anything but Christ-like. This is no longer news, just an everyday occurence.

    February 4, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. adam

    I believe this is a great idea, to allow gays in the boy scouts. Being gay myself, i alway felt like, i didn't fit in, when I was a kid. You already feel and know your different but try so hard to fit it. For a young gay boy to be able to join boy scouts would be a positive benefit for the child. It will give hime a sense of belonging and self worth he will need and use as he gets older. I hope to god, this "new" rule is passed, not only for the kids but for the leader or whoever else may be gay involved with boy scouts. Its time, this world show some acceptance instead of ignorance!!!

    February 4, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. KD

    Well what can I say. Every time I turned around I find Mr. Santorum once agains obsessed with gays. He has an unnatural obsession about it. I think he has to take a time out and look at himself and determine why this is. Then he tries to hide behind God which is the most disgusting thing about the man. As if God predetermines winners and losers of his children based on the way he made them. I don't understand his way of thinking.

    February 4, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. Seriously?

    Wow, it's amazing how ignorant some people are on this forum. Jusktakinit: they don't need your money. blake: What moral foundations are being undermined? I guarentee you the scouts themselves don't even know to hate gays until the scout masters teach this to them. Looks like we'll have to wait at least another generation before there is any hope. People should just mind their own business.

    February 4, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    "I care what Santorum thinks. I also care what Perry thinks".
    *******
    Too bad none of you seem to care what God thinks.

    February 4, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. manhandler1

    Wrong, Santorum...your detestable brand of discrimination is what won't survive.

    February 4, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. fsmgroupie

    will this xtian fundie ever stop hating? next stop--westboro-

    February 4, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. Canuck

    I don't understand how someone who professes to be a Christian can be so hateful. What would Mr Santorum like gays to do – self-immolate? move to an island away from society? Santorum is a horrible human being.

    February 4, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. kuewa

    Yes, we should definitely believe Rick Santorum. After all, he's been right about so many things ! LOL

    February 4, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  11. Adam

    Someone needs to remind Mr. Santorum that we live in America. Gay people are not second class citizens who don't deserve the same rights as others.

    February 4, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  12. Not Biased

    BSA is a private organization that now meets in churches, club houses, etc. because they voliated public policies. They have Chrisitian values, values also promoted by other religions, and they seek to build character in the scout. If they chose not to accept gays, what is it to you? Don't go or form another organization that does.

    February 4, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  13. Rob

    what an idiot Santorum is. no Rick, they won't survive if they don't change, and they realize that. just like the Republican party won't survive if they don't change you homophobic clown.

    February 4, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  14. Steve

    Sen. Rick Santorum is a right-wing extremist loser whose personal belief system and weak inner self results in his reliance upon a book of fiction rather than himself and humanity at large. Gloom and doom permeate his struggling thought processes.

    There is no reason the Boy Scouts should fold under artificially divined crisis. Gays have been involved in scouting from the beginning. That boys and men have been forced to hide their true self is the sad part of this story. Acceptance of the human form in all its iterations is more natural than believing some God or another made a mistake. How ludicrous!

    Openness and transparency will strengthen the Boys Scouts of America. Panic and bias will continue to do harm to the boys and men involved. Shut your flapping gap Santorum and keep you imbecilic theology to yourself!

    February 4, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  15. Steve

    "Scouting is about teaching a substantial amount of life lessons. Sexuality is not one of them. It never has been; it doesn't need to be."- Fine. Then why is it a consideration for admission? If you're going to assert that sexuality shouldn't be a part of scouts then you shouldn't make heterosexuality a prerequisite for membership.

    February 4, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. Janet

    Scouting, like most other organizations in this country, is a diverse group. Boys in this age group sometimes don't even realize they are gay yet. To deny them the leadership experiences and the opportunity to have the Eagle scout rank on their resume is wrong. When I was an adult leader years ago, a scout who was a good kid and one rank away from Eagle, dropped out of the troop because he realized he was changing in that sense. I also saw at least two boys over the years, after coming up through the ranks and getting their Eagle, come out as bisexual as young adults. Nobody would have guessed they had any such tendencies when they were scouts. The other thing I would say is that to deny a boy the opportunity to share the scouting experience with his parent who happens to be gay is wrong as well in my opinion. An outwardly gay person most likely knows that they are going to be watched more closely than others. It is the ones who seem to be nice heterosexuals who end up causing the problems.

    February 4, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. Jeff

    History will not judge Rick Santorum kindly.

    February 4, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  18. I'm confused

    Yeah, Santorum also said he felt qualified to be the President of the United States when nothing could have been further from the truth.... A more accurate statement, however, would be the gop may not survive if religious extremists like Rick Santorum are allowed to continue leading that party!!!

    February 4, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  19. Starman

    When hes no longer paid to say these things, he will no longer say them... Its as easy as that.

    February 4, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. Andrew McCauley

    Can we stop listening to this mentally ill closeted bigot now?

    February 4, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  21. JD Hunter

    "Traditional Values" is code for "Bigotry the way my Daddy taught me."

    February 4, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  22. Faroff

    Leave it to the conservative republicans to have such hatemongers as Santorum. He must be a closet gay himself.

    February 4, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
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