Santorum says scouts may not survive if gays allowed
February 4th, 2013
11:38 AM ET
2 years 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. MadCityObserver

    If the times are a-changing and the organization decides it will attempt to swim against the current then it shouldn't survive. What useful can it offer after it has outlived its welcome other than as a sad reminder of past intolerance?

    February 4, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. Saboth

    Well, if the scouts don't survive, hopefully a new organization that stands for equal rights for all will emerge. How can you have an organization that is supposed to teach kids right and wrong if they are teaching bigotry and intolerance as a core value? Why is this even an issue? Do the scouts sit around the campfire as the troop leader regales them with tales of his sexual prowess in the bedroom?

    February 4, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. Bruce Lindman

    Bob Jackibowski, by your reasoning the Boy Scouts should exclude Republican Senators as well....

    February 4, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. RWENUTS

    The BSA will function quite well, and for a long time, even after the policy changes. What the change will evidence is that Santorum and his religious ilk are extreme haters.

    February 4, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  5. Allison

    No Rick Santorum, it is your POV that will not survive. The organization will live on as a better example of what it is to be a proud American who protects the rights of all by being inclusive and not creating a society of division.

    February 4, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. Lisa

    This in an attempt to "remove God from all areas of public life"? I was not aware that "gay" and "atheist" were synonyms. Also, admitting gay scout leaders will not result in teaching boys about sexuality anymore than having only heterosexual scout leaders will. In contrast to popular (conservative) belief, gays have other things to talk about than just sex.

    February 4, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  7. nothing new here

    steve

    The BSA has been investigated by federal authorities for misclaiming their numbers. Pretending to yourself that there are more members than you really have would be fine, except that they use those numbers to qualify for money from federal grants and the United Way.
    ________________
    Excellent observation.
    And this comment cuts right to the heart of this matter This whole non-prof business is getting out of hand, and is becoming nothing more than another money-grab.

    February 4, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. Bozap

    If the Senate/Congress can survive with narrow minded morons, the Boy Scouts can easily survive with gays.

    February 4, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. Yep - they'll go extinct JUST LIKE THE GIRL SCOUTS DID

    Oh.

    Wait.

    The Girl Scouts DIDN'T go extinct.

    Guess Santorum is wrong. Again. Like he always is.

    February 4, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. sabah dabby

    I tried to join the boy scouts in Tehran, Iran in the early 60's and was turned down. The troop I was interested in joining was associated with the American School - I attended a Presbyterian Missionary School at the time.
    I am not sure why I was excluded - but I suspect that as TD writes - the existing members were extremely uncomfortable with someone "different" becoming a member.
    Years later I found it difficult to contribute to charitable organizations such as the United Way who supported the scouts.

    So, I can relate to the current controversy - even though I am straight.

    I am also wondering why organizatons such as the Boy Scouts are able to maintain their status as non profits if they discriminate openly.

    February 4, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    Yes. Lesson 1 for the children should be "how to hate and who to do it to."

    February 4, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. cvyder2000

    OOOOOO, scare tactics from Li'l Ricky! The country has survived HIM and probably BSA did too, if indeed he ever was one.

    February 4, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. jim

    Children should be protected from the harmful effects of Rick Santorum.

    February 4, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  14. sharon

    My cousin was a boyscout and was gay. This was 40 years ago. The boyscouts helped him a lot and he loved scouting. No one knew or questioned his sexuality. Santorum is a strange Christian, filled with hatred for anyone who is not like him. I have not heard a word from him about the pedophile priests. Strange, isn't it. The church has admitted that the priests were pedophiles yet Santorum goes after the Boy Scouts, rather than the Church. I do not understand how this bigot has been elected repeatedly.

    February 4, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. blake

    Mr. Santorum is absolutely right. This decision has the potential to completely destroy scouting because it undermines the philosophical and moral foundations scouting is built on. It is disturbing that the far left media has set its sights on such an outstanding organization. While supporting unconditionally a disgusting organization like Planned Parenthood, whose founder's clearly stated objective is the genocide of African Americans.

    February 4, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. nothing new here

    "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. (Santorum, that is).
    _________________
    And this is coming from a man that honors the free market system? Please. Since when did this guy suddenly become anti-rich?

    February 4, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. Kris

    No, Rick Santorum and his kind are the ones in fear of NOT SURVIVING! He is a Creepy NUTBAG!

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

    It is really disgusting that we had such hateful and ignorant person in charge of making decisions for our country. I'm so glad people saw through the B.S. when he ran for President.

    February 4, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  19. Greg

    @Bob Jackibowski...don't you read the news. Little boys have already been molested in the Boy Scouts by men that are happily(?) married. Men of faith constantly molest little boys. You feel safe sending your kids to church? If I want my kid molested the first stop would be a place of faith. Don't be naive.

    February 4, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. carlos

    rick rick rick..and there are many ricks : only ignorance excuses stupidity....

    February 4, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  21. Judy

    I can't believe this moron claims he is a man of God. Not possible.

    February 4, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  22. Hogan's Goat

    When I was a Boy Scout, members of my troop used their Scout knives to vandalize my neighborhood. My mom pulled me out because she didn't want me hanging around with that trash, who mostly turned out all right. I haven't heard of Scouts or seen anyone in a uniform in decades and didn't think they were still around. Maybe this will help bring them back?

    February 4, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. justfakinit

    they certainly won't get another dime from me if they do this change

    February 4, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. Michelle

    How is someone as ignorant as him able to remember to breathe 16x a minute? What a hateful bigot.

    February 4, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  25. Wook

    I forget how funny and delusional this man is sometimes. Thankfully he apparently is still doing stand up. The missed punchline is that while he remains an impotent conservative that hates gays, gay rights become stronger every day. People like Santorum need to quietly go away or hopefully kill themselves.

    February 4, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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