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. jake70

    I think think the Scouts should allow gays.

    I also believe the many Gay groups (Gay soccer teams, Gay judo clubs, etc) should allow straights. I can remember a lawsuit filed against another Gay team for not being Gay enough.

    I know in the Seattle Gay Pride parade the many Gay clubs and teams marched.

    February 3, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  2. Liz the First

    It's so sad that there are still people around today who think hate is a value worth teaching to their children. saddest of all is it's mostly 'religious' people teaching the hate. Who would Jesus hate, folks??? He came to teach us better than that. too bad so many didn't get the message.

    February 3, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  3. John Garrett

    Problem is the woefully broken system of public education has produced three generations of people who are prepared to trade the system of morality that freed the slave and put man on the moon for a system that has no morality at all. These same people have contempt for those who regard deviant behavior as deviant behavior, if the system they believe so strongly in could be shown to work anywhere or at any time they may have credibility but all they really have is their dogma. Their is no such thing as homophobia, just the realization that some lifestyles are artificial and wrong.

    February 3, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. JohnRJohnson

    Is this supposed to be news?

    February 3, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  5. pazke

    Why should we care what Rick Perry says?

    Personally, I don't care if the BSA changes their policy. It's too little, too late for me. My husband earned his Eagle Scout and I was looking forward to having my two sons participate – until I did a little research on them. Let them continue to do what they do and I'll have my sons AND daughter join Navigators, USA instead.

    February 3, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. TonyD

    Funny thing, Most people with an IQ over 60 is opposed to R. Perry. It's no wonder Texas is such a go nowhere state when they are being led by a homophobic racist who is more than likely a closet gay man.

    February 3, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  7. Owl Creek Observer

    Just read the comments so far. No surprise. Homosexuals piling on as usual. Eeeewww....

    February 3, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  8. Brian from DC

    Rick who?? He's a bad joke that the Republican Party is trying very hard to forget.

    February 3, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  9. Oldwhiteman

    Rick Perry is one of the great minds of our times...he proved that at the Republican presidential debates. Texas is the only state with enough people dumber than he is to keep re-electing the moron.

    February 3, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. LilySue

    Let's review his disqualifications for the White Hosue – pro-discrimination; pro-cecession, first class moron. I hope this guy never gets anywhere close to making it into the White House. If he does, we're in serious trouble.

    February 3, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  11. fernace

    Some1 should point out to Guv'nah Goodhair that the subject is Equality, Not s.e.xuality! But equality has never been Rick's strongpoint, so his "condemnation" is not surprising!!

    February 3, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  12. will

    Gay scout leaders...encouraging the temptation to molest little boys is unwise...don't let it happen.

    February 3, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  13. The Other Dale

    Sounds like Rick is very upset that he's written a book that is already obsolete and won't make any money. Just like him in many ways.

    February 3, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  14. Terri

    Perry still relates "ped" with gay, what a maroon. Why my fellow Texans keep electing this guy is beyond me but then I am in ATX the little island in TX.

    February 3, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  15. Jack

    Sorry Perry, we've moved on. Try and catch up. I had gay troop leaders growing up (closeted back then, sadly). Never an issue. One's sexual orientation is a non-issue.

    February 3, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  16. Floyd from Illinois

    Perry seems to be all about keeping his sort on top, and everyone else down.

    February 3, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  17. norma jean

    I would never have given this a thought except that my son, {whom I lost when he was a teen ager }..was in the "Cub Scouts when he was younger and I remember him being uncomfortable with his leader....he never seemed able to tell me why... because in those days very little was ever said about this situation and I had not heard of it.....NOW I WONDER!!! I don't always agree with this clown from Texas......but now I think I do!!!!

    February 3, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  18. Anthony

    Typical of a self loathing closeted gay.

    February 3, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  19. Samuels_Opinion

    There are gay pedophiles, and there are straight pedophiles. Yes, Ive heard that from a clincal standpoint, that pedophilia has nothing to do with sexual orientation, however, the fact remains, there are both gay and straight pedophiles. I understand the most of the abusers in the history of the scouts were married "straight" leaders. Who knows, they could have been closeted gays who let our their repressed sexual desires on the boys, or maybe not. Point is, protect the kids. Put into place better standards of accountability for all adult leaders in the BSA.

    February 3, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  20. Eric Thompson

    I didn't think scouting was supposed to be about sex. But OK, so now it will be. It is also discriminatory to have only males in Boy Scouts and females in girl scouts. So now it should open up. Don't want to hear about worries that the kids might do something. Obviously you don't think it will with homosexuality, so in the spirit of fairness and non-descrimination you should feel that separating the sexes in scouting is also evil. that includes sleeping arrangements. Equality; love it or leave it.

    February 3, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  21. Daniel

    His argument is strange: "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." . So if sexuality is not a part of the Scouts, whats the problem with someone who is gay?

    February 3, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  22. Moving asap

    Rick Perry is a relic of another era. White rich Texas male. He is dragging Texas into the dark ages because of his Right Wing religious influence. He doesn’t have a clue what is happening to the average person. Since when does the scouting organizations teach sex? I think if you look for sexual deviance it is with the straight males. I wish this man would just fade away. Remember separation of church and state, get government out of our lives??? What a hypocrite!

    February 3, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  23. The Other Bob

    John Galt

    As a Christian and former Boy Scout, I completely agree with the Governor of Texas. The Boy Scouts teach Judeo-Christian values.
    If that's what your troop did, they violated the rules. While a belief in a higher power is required, it does not have to be the Judeo-Christian one.

    February 3, 2013 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  24. Charles

    I used to live in California till the age of 12 , but I was already in Boy Scouts of America while I lived there for a total of 2 years. When I moved to North Carolina I wanted to continue my scouting so that one day I could be an eagle scout, but instead when I got to North Carolina I was told that they couldnt allow me into the local organization because they felt I needed another route of discipline towards what they called obvious homosexual tendacies. They felt that I could attend meetings but when it was time to go camping etc, or something that involved me obtaining badges away from the HQ then I could not attend. Now, picture a grown man telling your son of 12 years old you cant join their organization because of gay tendacies. That is hateful and absurd, I am now 21 years of age and I understand the world we live in but back then I didnt. All he did was make my move to North Carolina hard to adapt, and unaware of exactly what he meant by it, he made me feel like I was not normal, when my scout leader in CA made me feel like I was. My grandmother and grandfather quickly came to my side to express that this was only an act of personal feelings towards what society calls "lifestyle". When you are a child, and or teenager its not always a good feeling to be intruded upon hate. I really hate that the LGBT community has to be banned from certain things like we arent human and civil like the rest of the human race, like heterosexuals live their lives any better than the next. Boy Scouts of America should be ashamed of themselves to teach hatred and promote a message that they feel can only be heard by heterosexuals in life. No matter what walk of life you come from its always a great thing to have a place where you can be taught the wyas of life, swimming, camping, fishing, etc. these arent things one specific walk of life can do. Childrens minds become corrupted from the start of home and all these adults on here commenting makes no sense to me. Its not about YOU its about the child , its about what can help the child. Discrimination comes in all shapes and sizes, but one thing about discrimination is, would you like it if you were discrimated against.

    February 3, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  25. scargosun

    Oh! I thought you meant Katie Perry or Joe Perry. You guys need to be more specific. We EXPECT this from Rick.

    February 3, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12