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.

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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. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Because of Rick Perry being one of the worst governors in the nation, I rarely agree with him on anything, but he is right on this issue.

    February 2, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |

    Shame on the Boy Scouts for even hinting at capitulation to immorality and dishonoring their code of 100+ years!

    February 2, 2013 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  3. Laura

    Just more proof that it needs to be done. Anything that this tool opposes has got to be a good idea!

    February 2, 2013 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  4. Jason

    So if scouting is indeed "about teaching a substantial amount of life lessons," does it really make sense for them to shun openly gay boys away, denying them of those valuable lessons, and possibly sending those kids home with the message that there always will be members of the society that will reject them and deny them of opportunities just because that individual has a trait that he has no control over? In the end its still up to the BSA to decide and they're just trying to do what they feel is the best for the kids entrusted to them.

    February 2, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  5. Sandy

    As an Eagle Scout myself, I know FAR more Eagles who like the change than don't. Once again, Rick Perry is on the outside looking in.

    February 2, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  6. frontgate

    This is why repubs will continue to lose national elections

    February 2, 2013 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  7. Zac C

    If sexuality is not an issue, then why exclude members based on it. And to the writers, there is a phrase, "Once an Eagle, always an Eagle." It is not proper form to call someone a former Eagle Scout unless the Award has been revoked or renounced.

    February 2, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  8. The Other Bob

    Hey, Gov. Perry, heterosexual leaders and Scouts aren't supposed to be discussing their sexuality either, so there would be the same expectation of homosexual leaders and Scouts. So keep your homophobia to yourself.

    February 2, 2013 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  9. Texan4Ever

    Rick Perry is a joke. And not even a funny one, at that. How he keeps getting re-elected is beyond me.

    February 2, 2013 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  10. jennifer in Houston

    Ha.. this from a guy who wasmamcheer leader...

    February 2, 2013 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  11. GIUK

    Hey Rick. The Scouts got to change or they'll end up like the Republican party. Irrelevant. Oh, you're a Republican, right? How'd that presidential run of your work out?

    February 2, 2013 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  12. spock500

    What a surprise. This jerk, Rick Perry, deserves as much credence and media attention as does his fraternal siblings, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and Darell Issa.

    February 2, 2013 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  13. philojazz

    And there were actually some people out there who thought that this guy (Mr Perry) was PRESIDENTiAL material?

    February 2, 2013 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  14. ANative Texan

    And his opinion counts because...?

    February 2, 2013 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  15. browcarey

    If scouting isn't about sexuality, then why are the excluding people based on their sexuality? Sexual orientation should be a non-issue. It has no affect on a boy's ability to be a scout. The policy was stupid to begin with, and Perry... well... I just leave that unsaid.

    February 2, 2013 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  16. RINO Bill

    Just tell Rick that instead of gay, they're happy and he'll be OK with it.

    February 2, 2013 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  17. Paul Brinkster

    Good on Ya Perry!

    February 2, 2013 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  18. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The point is that the scouts weren't accepting of all the boy that wanted to be scouts. That is a problem. It is a great program but not letting everyone participate isn't smart.

    February 2, 2013 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  19. Anon

    Governor perry is absolutely correct:

    Sexuality isn't a life issue that scouting should teach.

    The BSA thus has no right to base membership on one's sexual orientation.

    February 2, 2013 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  20. Zach

    Yet, another Republican who completely misses the point. It's not about "teaching sexuality or homosexuality" in the scouts, it's about allowing homosexual youth to join the scouts in order to learn the same substantial life lessons the scouts teach to heterosexual youth.

    February 2, 2013 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  21. John Galt

    As a Christian and former Boy Scout, I completely agree with the Governor of Texas. The Boy Scouts teach Judeo-Christian values. The bible clearly states that homosexuality is a sin. The Boy Scouts teach boys to become upstanding, moral, patriotic, and civic-minded young men. I realize that the secular Left wields power and influence and the private businesses that fund the Boy Scouts are cowering in face of political correctness. God bless America, I'm not sure how much longer this country will last. I look at my three boys and I worry about their future. I look at my country (and yes, I'm a veteran), and tears well up.

    February 2, 2013 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  22. JOn

    "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."

    By not allowing a demographic in a organization because of their sexuality, is making it about sexuality. If you just let them in, then it becomes a dead issue, and sexual orientation becomes a non-issue. Stupid, Perry.

    February 3, 2013 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  23. Kandric

    ...who cares? Rick Perry is irrelevant.

    February 3, 2013 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  24. Robert

    Thank you Governor Perry for standing up for traditional Biblical values which is the foundation of a stable and healthy society. Homosexual behavior is in the long term destructive to the stability of the individual, family and society.

    February 3, 2013 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  25. Karlcp

    We need a new governor!

    February 3, 2013 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
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