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. Nancy

    Boy Scouts is a private organization. If they choose to prohibit gays or other groups from membership, then that is their prerogative. I don't agree with that policy. So I choose to not support them. I have not purchased any items from Boy Scouts in several years - specifically due to this policy. They have their right to choose their members and I have my right to not support them.

    February 3, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  2. howardfeinski

    The Boy Scouts discriminate! Against girl scouts, of course.

    February 3, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  3. dywlf

    It is so refreshing to see a man in a political office who is not afraid of the homosexuals and their MSM.

    February 3, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  4. Justin

    Perry is a great leader for standing up for BSA. He has the Gaul to stand up and say no to political correctness, this is wrong, and these values do not coincide with what BSA teaches, and makes no apologies for teaching morals when the rest of society is in decay.

    February 3, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  5. pat from central oregon

    Great, another neanderthal from Texass. Rick, gays are aleady and have always been part of the BOA. It's the pedophile heteros that you have to be concerned about. They are the ones who are molesting the boy scouts.

    February 3, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  6. MacLorry

    We separate scouts by sex and it's not discrimination, but try to separate by sexual orientation and some say its discrimination. Of course there are many gay scouts as we can see from those who have come forward, so the BSA doesn't discriminate against gays who don't openly express sexual attraction to other boy scouts. In fact, it would be irresponsible of the leadership to allow membership to boys who openly expresses sexual attraction to other boy scouts.

    If adult gays want a place where young gay boys can go scouting with other gay boys let them form their own organization. They can call it the Gay Scouts of American (GSA) and as a private organization they can exclude heterosexuals and require all their members to take an Atheist oath.

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

    BSA is a religious based organization. They get most of their financial support from religious groups. If they bend, they can kiss most of their financial support goodbye. After all, who would want to teach young boys about good citizenship, hard work, and holding themselves to a higher standard when we all could just sit at home collecting welfare, fornicating with animals/children/same sex/ relatives, apologizing to our enemies when they kill American citizens, and modeling our country after the once great but now collapsed nations of Europe.

    February 3, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    another one from THE STUPID party as they are now known as

    February 3, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  9. Michael

    Mr. Perry's naive and homophobic comments are quite ironic. He says, "Scouting is about teaching a substantial amount of life lessons. [...]Sexuality is not one of them. It never has been; it doesn't need to be." By discriminating against gay scouts and leaders, the sexuality lesson given by scouting is that it's o.k. to discriminate and that it's wrong to be gay. Dispicable. I am an Eagle Scout, and if the policy is not changed at this next event, I will return my award.

    February 3, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  10. J.V.Hodgson

    Now he wants to bring his religious bigotry into the scouting movement. Too many religions remain anti gay in thier stance . ( I am not being specific here about marriage or civil union matters only)I do not want those exported into the BSA or GGA movement for that matter. I also find it regrettable that one has to be open about being gay or not. And please please do not try to tell a gay person boy or girl ( guide) never got into the scouts/ guides in the past and they were not required to do anything other than be a good scout either boy or girl.
    No need to change anything BSA or you Senator Perry. Except for you to shut up on this matter.

    February 3, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  11. splassher6

    and those who scream tolerance forget the meaning of the word....again

    February 3, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  12. truth

    Catholic Church had a gay problem not a pedophile problem. Little boys were the victims. The BSA would be the next breeding ground of reprobate vultures.

    February 3, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  13. straitsight

    I have to agree with Perry on this one. It would be awkward and would serve no purpose. If the homosexuals want they can start thier own scouting organization. I know they call it gay now days but The term was originally used to refer to feelings of being "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy". The term's use as a reference to homosexuality may date as early as the late 19th century, but its use gradually increased in the 20th century. The nice thing about being older is I don't have to be politically correct so I can still call a rock a rock instead of making up words or using other words.
    Listen to George Carlin and his changing of the work kill to something I won't put in print.
    I realize if the "gays" started thier own scouting group it wouldn't have as many scouts but they can teach the values that they want. It has noting to do with hate as I don't hate "gay" people I just don't agree with them, much the same as I don't "hate" Obama supporters but I surely don't have to agree with them, especially seeing my paycheck and my expenses every week.

    February 3, 2013 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  14. LatinaDem

    They kept gays out all this time yet had problems with straight pediopholes...classic .

    February 4, 2013 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  15. daveNTx

    Perry is absolutely right on this one.

    February 4, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  16. muarice

    Man, finally someone from the GOP party responds to President Obama's ridiculous comments.

    February 4, 2013 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  17. Bryan

    I think it's time we stop sugarcoating it and call Rick Perry what he is...a bigot, pure and simple.

    February 4, 2013 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  18. GO_GOP

    Agree with him fully. Our Lord does not approve the gay lifestyle. Period. Those who support it do it at their own risk. Do not underestimate HIS wrath. He loves you but can condemn you to hell for not listening to his words. Perry is a good Christian (like me) and I am sure his path to heave is assured.

    February 4, 2013 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  19. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Perry would not be against gays if those gays traditionally voted the straight, pardon the pun, Republican ticket.

    February 4, 2013 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  20. Sidney

    One jerk who thinks it is right to exclude one in ten kids from the Scouting experience is bad enough... but an entire state who would elect him governor is appalling. Texas–get your act together!

    February 4, 2013 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  21. dave

    You are right what an idiot seo phobia all over. I am one who alsi believes like the majorityh of the posters here. It is my belief that women and men should be incarcerated together. What they are doing is teaching that men and women shouldn't be allowed to learn to understand one another by seperating them. How will they ever properly adjust. I am not saying force them but make it clear that they are not going to be well adjusted and if they will live with others of the opposite sex tey will have their prison terms shortened. But they have to agree to be nice. I hate homo phobs and bigots and these maorality police. If hey could just learn to trust each other more we would be happier.

    February 4, 2013 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  22. rioa

    perry is right! Gays do not belong with any heterosexual club like Boy Scouts or any straight club. It will give me
    puke feeling knowing I'm sharing a bath room with gay person. Its just not right.

    February 4, 2013 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  23. Trevor

    The Boy Scouts should do whatever they want. It's supposed to be an organization where young men learn survival skills, morals, and leadership. It's none of Barack Obama's business what policies they have, they're a private organization. He wasn't even a Boy Scout, so what does he care?

    February 4, 2013 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  24. stew

    As a scout leader I barely have enough time to do my full time job and try to keep boys engaged with the basics. I will not let this become political in my troop. The moment I have to take more training to try and explain why homosexuals are showering and sleeping in the same tents as non homosexual boys is the moment I quit volunteering. Yes most of the leaders do this for free. In fact i take money out of my pockets out of the kindness of my heart. When it is no longer fun for me and my boys it is time to trow in the towel and say "thank you fag for forcing your gayness down my throat". Can't theyjust start a new organization and call it ferry scouts or gay scouts.

    February 4, 2013 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  25. Dan

    The guy who thinks the world is 6000 years old want to ban people from something based on something his invisible sky god said in a book that condones slavery and murdering your child when they lie? Shocking. Heavy, in-depth reporting, CNN...

    February 4, 2013 05:47 am at 5:47 am |
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