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. pntherpaw86

    When will CNN realize that no one cares what Santorum thinks???

    February 4, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  2. RINO Bill

    ... and who is silly enough to listen to the advice from this loser?

    Rick Santorum and those of his ilk are a big part of the reason the Rebublican Party took it on the chin in '12.

    February 4, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Santorum is one of the worst, most extreme conservative I have ever seen. How come these so called "christian conservatives" can't see the blatant hypocrisy in the positions that they take on social issues? Supposedly their christianity is the core of the values, which means they believe the Earth is 6000 or so years old.

    How can climate change be a natural force of nature when it takes 25,000 years or more for an ice age cycle?
    How can the Earth be a mere 6000 years old when it takes millions to turn forests into oil, gas diamonds, etc?

    When conservatives talk about transparency are they talking about their own transparent, hypocritical positions?

    February 4, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. Randy, San Francisco

    Democrats are hoping that Santorum will be in the top tier of presidential candidates for the Republican Party in 2016.

    February 4, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. Vince

    Who cares what Rick Santorum thinks? Just like Sarah Palin and the Tea Party, he's an asterisk at the bottom of the page in history books of the future.

    February 4, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  6. LibParrots

    Why does the left believe in attacking everyone who doesnt share their views? A vile, reprehensible and misinformed populace has taken over the democratic party. Our nation is suffering for it.

    February 4, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  7. SMITVICT

    Evangelical Religion is struggling to survive people like Santorum.

    February 4, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. David Olds

    I was a scout.
    Would you let your kid go camping with a gay scout leader?
    The Left has killed another wholesome American institution.
    We live in Post America. I am no long proud to be an American.

    February 4, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  9. eddiethegeek

    It's clear...if the Boy Scouts cave in to politically-correct pressure, it's time to form an alternative organization for boys that adheres to the values the BSA will have been abandoning.

    February 4, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. A.A.

    Who gives a crap what this religious control freak thinks? He is Torquemada in the 21st century!

    February 4, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. Tony

    The Republican Party may not survive if they listen to Santorum.

    February 4, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. longtooth

    Keep digging, GOP. The hole will finally qualify for the dustbin of history. Santorum and Perry are two "leaders" who can show you the way to the bottom.

    February 4, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. 1608

    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.

    Okay. So when things don't go the gop way, we are taking god out of our life, how? Got to love these people.

    February 4, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  14. kully mindemann

    Actually, the Boy Scouts may not survive if they DON'T change their anti-gay policy. It is also possible that they are headed for extinction no matter what they do or don't do, at this point. Also, Governor Perry's comment to maintain the status quo because scouting was never about sexuality ignores that the scouts have made it so.

    February 4, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. Rynosaur

    Santorum would sure fit with those Westboro Baptist Church nuts. Perhaps he is a secret member.

    February 4, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. CitzenUS

    Good...then the Scouts shouldn't survive!

    Just like the scouts shouldn't have survived after refusing to allow inner city neighborhoods (minorities) to form Scout troops in the 70's and 80's.....and one reason the inner city kids began to form gangs in cities like L.A. The Scouts were WHITE and very-very far right religious owned (big-big Mormon influence).

    We'd be better off without the scouts based on how they are operated as a right wing hate group....it does not teach good values to the kids....not in the least.

    February 4, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. awasis

    Oh Ricky boy, you really are clueless, aren't you. .

    February 4, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  18. Robert Long

    I care what Santorum thinks. I also care what Perry thinks. I care what you think, but I can't make you think as I do. Scout are for building male character and knowledge useful in our society. It is not there to help gays feel normal in their aberrant lifestyle.

    The Scouts don't persecute gays, the gays should not persecute the Scouts. Traditional values are important to the survival of this country.

    February 4, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  19. john wayne

    Way to ruin the boy scouts, when are people going to get it? homosexuals are attracted to males, thats like giving the tiger his meat but can only stare at it! Im a straight male, why cant I change in the girls locker room or join girls only organizations? Since I like woman, I should be able to go into girls bathrooms as well !!! Dont you people get it, same as letting homosexuals in navy, they will be in same shower area etc.

    February 4, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  20. Tim

    Boy Scouts are already in serious decline and had a huge problem of covering up for scout leaders who molested scouts. It seems extremely silly for the Boy Scouts to ban lesbian mothers who wanted to be merit badge counselors for their son and his fellow scouts.

    February 4, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  21. Moby

    Rick's comments are VERY appropriate ..for 1955 .. which is where he lives socially .. He still thinks "Father knows best " was a documentary ..

    February 4, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. Mikey

    Oh, pleeeeeeezzzzeee. BSA would be better off letting gays in than anyone who has had too much influence by Santorum or his ilk. Narrow-mindedness and bigotry are neither American nor Christian values.

    February 4, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. Frank Maunder

    First off: It's FORMER Senator Santorum. And with good reason. Second: Gay has NOTHING to do with God, excepting only that a lot of gay homophobes choose to take religious orders in hope that "God Will Remove These Shameful Feelings". Third: Scouting is alive and well in Thailand, where every child is a member, including katoeys. Sexual orientation has no effect whatsoever on the message of the scout organization.

    February 4, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. Joe Edwards

    Let me see...

    I was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout (Life Scout) and I gave 15 years to the U.S. Army (disabled Vet now).

    This guy is a tool. There have been, and are gay people in Scouts and the military. Guess what, both organizations are doing just fine.

    When we hear the last of these hate-mongering idiots?

    February 4, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  25. steve

    The head of the BSA receives over 1.2 million in income. This is a charity, a non-profit?

    February 4, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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