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. rparker

    The article states that Perry was former presidential candidate. He never made it past the primaries so he was never a presidential candidate.

    February 3, 2013 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  2. John

    Finally, at least one US politician is saying the right thing. I thought this guy was a complete dumb @ss during the election but apparently he has some sense on this important issue. We need more politicians like him when it comes to this. What best for the middle class is politicians that approach financial issues like a democrat and social issues like a conservative. what we have now is vote for a democrat and get a real BO–without any morals or who dosent care if gays rape kids in the boy scouts–cause they contibute to his campain, or some Republican who will bankrupt the country with his greed if elected.

    February 3, 2013 04:19 am at 4:19 am |
  3. Studypeople

    "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."

    I guess using Gov. Rick Perry mentally. Then the "Straight Boy Scout Leaders" are teaching Straight Sex to the Boy Scouts. Strange I missed earning that Merit Badge back in the day.

    February 3, 2013 04:25 am at 4:25 am |
  4. BD70

    The rule needs to be changed since the Scouts made an issue of it. If sexuality is not part of the program then why kick out those who are gay?

    February 3, 2013 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  5. Dave

    This is the 21 century ! Being gay shouldn't be considered a crime, and our political leaders shouldn't espouse policies of hatred and discrimination. Texas should be ashamed !

    February 3, 2013 04:55 am at 4:55 am |
  6. Teh Kitteh

    "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."

    Said about an organization whose systematic inclusion, and coverup of, sexual predators in their ranks is second only to the Catholic church. Sorry, openly gay leaders and members somehow seems to be a much safer alternative than a DADT policy that provides a fertile substrate for pedophilia.

    February 3, 2013 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  7. maine liberal

    Rickster the scouts are a private org you are the Government read your constittution isnt the teaparty against government intrution

    February 3, 2013 05:17 am at 5:17 am |
  8. MaryAngeline

    Grateful that this man never became our President....and never will.

    February 3, 2013 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  9. Vendella

    And now we have yet another insight into why this fool didn't make it through the presidential primaries.

    February 3, 2013 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
  10. Howard

    Living proof that even a Neanderthal can be elected Governor of Texas ... and a lot of other places.

    Here's a thought ... if the governor of Texas, or any other state, has enough time to speak out on an issue like this that has absolutely no impact on the governance of their state, then the citizens of those states ought to think about cutting the governor's pay and reducing the role to that of a part-time job, thereby saving taxpayer dollars.

    Seriously, Rick, is every last agency under your administrative responsibility functioning as well as it could or should? If not, then how can you possibly justify wasting any of your time and the taxpayers' money commenting on an issue like this?

    February 3, 2013 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  11. jim

    We just completed a drive across the Texas panhandle. Tell Perry to install some restrooms with running water. Then he can discuss gays in tne Boy Scouts. He is an expert because there are only two things came from Texas.

    February 3, 2013 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  12. MightyMoo

    '"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."'

    It wouldn't have been if people didn't get their nickers in a bunch over what someone does in their personal life. So long as that individual is responsible around the kids and takes care of things proper then why should anyone bother with what they do in their personal lives on their own time?

    February 3, 2013 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  13. Diane

    That's right, BSA ; listen to idiotic Perry and keep living in the 1950's.

    February 3, 2013 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  14. vincent

    May our lord bless Gov Perry so very richly:)
    No one in their right mind could ever want to have sexual deviates around INNOCENT children.
    Let's keep the Boy Scouts of America intact with some sense of God fearing & Christian morality

    February 3, 2013 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  15. Al

    Perry is right on. Most of America feels the way he does. Thank goodness. Boy Scouts are falling prey to perverted political correctness which has nothing to do with reality!!!

    February 3, 2013 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  16. JD

    Perry is out of time with society. The whole country saw through him when he was wasting money running for President. The good ol boys club doesn't work for that position. He is the typical tea party candidate that only believes whites should rule the world. Those days are over, he just doesn't realize it. His days are numbered also, Texans have had enough finally. With the Latino's being the majority now, they are fed up with him also. I will not support any boy scout organization that discriminates against gays. If they want to keep them out after their National BSA has stated they are allowed in, then they can support their own groups. I'm not going to help them promote hate, that's exactly what they would be doing. As for Perry go on back to your new mansion that was built because the old one got "burned" to the ground. Enjoy your yacht in drought ridden Tx that tax payer spend thousands on every year, and leave the keys on your desk when you leave. Plenty of people will give you a ride if you need it!

    February 3, 2013 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  17. bear

    Rick, you are still living in the 18th century,are you against blacks and hispanics belonging also? When are you going to realize that Gays we're also created by God.

    February 3, 2013 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  18. mb2010a

    One more reason Governor Perry won't be re-elected in 2014...

    February 3, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  19. T. Desjardins

    Exactly what does Gov. Perry think is going to happen if an openly gay person is involved with scouting? Recruitment meetings? Standing around telling young men they should try having sex with other men? No one at the BSA said anything about making sexuality part of scouting. Just because some of the people involved with scouting are openly gay doesn't mean they plan to stand around and discuss their sex lives. That would be inappropriate coming from anyone no matter what their sexual orientation. You know, being gay is not contagious, it is not a choice and gay people do not discuss their sexuality nearly as often as homophobic people like Gov. Perry. What if the BSA's policy was to deny admission to anyone from Texas? That makes about as much sense as denying gay people a chance at becoming a boy scout or a scout leader.

    It's 2013, it is time to stop treating gay people like second class citizens.

    February 3, 2013 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  20. SaneInTexas

    Well, color me surprised.

    February 3, 2013 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  21. Anonymous

    Scouting teaches "life lessons", wouldn't that include how to work together with ALL people?

    February 3, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  22. Milton Platt

    The only difference here is that gay scouts would be able to say they are gay. And as to gay scout masters, parents make the decision as to whether their child joins a particular scout group, so the choice is still in their hands.

    February 3, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  23. Some Froggy Evening

    Rick Perry is like having a pimple that needs to be squished.

    February 3, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  24. Steve

    Rick Perry. The mere name evokes hysterical laughter. This man will say anything to garner attention and votes. As a Texan living in liberal Austin, most of us just ignore him as the idiot he is. If it weren't for my partner's job we would have left this backward state years ago. God help us!

    February 3, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  25. Mary

    Politicians like Governor Perry are on the losing side of history on this. Gay people exist. They always have and always will. They ain't going anywhere, folks. And issues like this are going to keep popping up until these laws discriminating against people based on sexual orientation cease to exist.

    And for those who want to oppose gay rights based on religious reasons, remember this: Religion is a CHOICE. Sexual orientation is not.

    February 3, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
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