Perry condemns potential scouting change to allow gay members
February 2nd, 2013
10:06 PM ET
10 years 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.

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker']

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. Eekster

    I think by allowing gays in the Scouts is a bad idea. Being gay is not normal and it is not acceptable behavior. just 50 years ago this was considered a mental illness and it wasn't until about a couple of years that it was removed from that category because of public pressure. Studies then and now have shown that homosexuality "IS" a mental disorder. As one who is a student getting a BS in Psychology, I have to agree that I would not want my children around this disorder..

    February 4, 2013 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  2. MarkinFL

    Apparently his definition of "activist" gay is one that is not in the closet. Typical right-wing mentality. Apparently if they are not hiding then they are "shoving it down our throats" as I so often read.
    I did not realize that my scoutmasters were activist heterose.xuals, but they must of been since they did not hide the fact that they had wives.

    February 4, 2013 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  3. the serpent

    No surprises in this article. The Christian Taliban is strong in Rick Perry.
    Congrats to the Boy Scouts. Maybe one day they will stop excluding atheists too.

    February 4, 2013 06:03 am at 6:03 am |

    Keep talking Rick. America needs the comedy .

    February 4, 2013 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  5. fiftyfive55

    People arer either too young or just aren't aware of all the trouble that was exposed in the 60s about gay scoutmasters abusing the scouts,I happen to know 3 guys that were abused by gay men in scouting.There are reasons why gay men should not be allowed around young boys.

    February 4, 2013 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  6. fiftyfive55

    In the 60s,a big scandal occured,gay scout leaders were abusing young scouts,it was dealt with quietly so as not to ruin scouting and now the government wants to allow these guys back with young boys again ? Has the government lost all concept of right and wrong just for votes ? I believe they have !

    February 4, 2013 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  7. KP

    I thought this was an article about Katy Perry... Or at least Tyler Perry. I couldn't care less what Rick Perry has to say; I thought he would have melted into obsolesence by now.

    February 4, 2013 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  8. Peter Q Wolfe

    Mr Perry is being a fascist, bigotted and sociopathic controler of the Boy Scott's againt homosexuals. I take offense seein how that I'm disabled an part of the lgbt community. Using his logic thatall fat people shouldn't go to church cause they are sinning cause of gluttony right? RIDICULOUs

    February 4, 2013 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  9. fiftyfive55

    Gay men and young,naive boys,oh,they'll be okay,trust me.

    February 4, 2013 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  10. Doug

    How many fatalities have resulted from gay military personnel being known as gay? Probably zero. Republicans were wrong about that. They are wrong about this.

    February 4, 2013 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  11. swipedcard

    Perry against social security. Perry against blacks. Perry against women's rights. Who cares...he's not only historically irrelevant but not newsworthy.

    February 4, 2013 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  12. swipedcard

    Yawn...Perry against immigrants. Perry against blacks. Perry against women's rights. The fool belongs in the dustbin of history...he's irrelevant and I don't appreciate having pages about his "opinions" shoved in my face.

    February 4, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  13. Alex

    The BSA can exclude whoever they want as long as they stop receiving any sort of government support.

    February 4, 2013 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I recal as a child hearing a preacher quote Biblical passages "proving" God wanted all races of people to live in a segregated fashion. I've heard others "prove" women's rights violate God's plan. The word of God was written by men and the meaning is interpreted by them to suit their particular needs. It can be used to justify anything.
    Amen to that!

    February 4, 2013 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12