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. Dan

    Rick Perry? Who cares what he thinks?

    February 3, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. RKN

    I would vote to let the south secede – but there are a lot of nice, thoughtful, hard working, caring people who live in the south. They suffer scorn of being from the south because of people like Perry who are loud and nasty. I have known of few people who like him. We need to rise up and take this country back from the bigoted bullies and wealthy corporations that care more about their profit margin than about the well being of their comunities or their workers.

    February 3, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. Barry

    "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."

    Exactly, so why ban people because of their sexual orientation? There's better clubs to join if you just wanna learn about sex.

    February 3, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. gmenfan54

    So Perry is a homophobe. No surprise here.

    February 3, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  5. Rob

    Rick Perry is an idiot.

    February 3, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Chris

    Rick Perry has solidified his place in history as a biased and elitist individual that will be viewed now, and even more so in the future as a pig that we as a country clearly told him that we do not stand for what he believes in. As a former Texan, I am embarrassed by this travesty of a human being.

    February 3, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. Brokeback Mountain

    Perry is a threat to mankind.

    February 3, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. notogop

    I see he hasn't gained any intelligence or tact since his presidential campaign debacle. Hard to teach a true redneck new tricks, no matter how painful the lesson.

    February 3, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Perry, You seemed to be the one so focused on sexuality here! I think the does protest too much!!!!

    February 3, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. hank

    Wonder what he thinks about the BSA protecting pedophiles? Wonder how that squares with the "American values of scouting" for him.... He better read his own book again...

    February 3, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. erin

    Well, duh. (and I mean that two ways)

    February 3, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. kvn

    "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." -Perry

    No kidding, last I checked it was the BSA who were making an issue of sexuality when they denied equal treatment to gay scouts... The BSA needs to see beyond sexuality and put aside their bigotry and teach scouting. Its the BSA who refuse to give medals to kids based on this "non issue," not the kids who aren't doing the work.

    February 3, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. Rosslaw

    OK, this confirms it, Perry is definitely gay. Which normally would be his own business except for the right-wing gay tendency to act homophobic to "cover" their little secret. What a confused, schizophrenic life he must have to lead.

    February 3, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  14. TexasAnnie

    If Rick Perry had his way, all gay people would be put behind barbed wire in some internment camp environment. The man is so insecure & full of hate- he just wants to feel superior to others . What I find ironic is, I would bet money, that Rick Perry has his own personal issues with his own sexuality. I just hope he doesn't run again EVER, for ANY office. He is an air headed disgrace to the state.

    February 3, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. dd

    Would you trust your son going to a Boy Scout camp knowing that there were numerous homosexuals present? That would be stupid. The probability of a sexual pervert in the midst would be ONE! Let homosexuals establish their own kid programs.

    February 3, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. L. T. Fang

    The surest way for Democrats to win elections is to keep the Republicans talking.

    February 3, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  17. PtBarnumBoy

    There are two things in this life that Mr. Perry is sure of. First it's that scouts can't be gay and ah, hmm, well gee, I can't recall the second I"m sorry.

    February 3, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  18. v2787

    So Rick Perry is opposed to entering the 21st century. There's a shocker. Who would've seen this one coming? It's gonna be fun to watch Texas slowly turn purple, then blue within the next few years.

    February 3, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. Time For Him To Go

    Perry, who has held the governorship for the longest time hasn't done much at all for Texas therefore, people should not be listening to what he has to say about this matter. A person who is not gay would not fully understand about these important hard-working citizens and their contributions therefore, has no business interfering with negative opinions. Texas needs to now move from being a red state to become Purple but ultimately in the not-too-distant future to become Fully BLUE! The Conservatives in the Texas lege have blocked many efforts for people to get ahead something that is not acceptable. Get them out! Restore Democratic values and Help Revert Texas To BLUE!

    February 3, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. Ozzie

    I would say that Perry is a homphobic Republican, but that would be redundant.

    February 3, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  21. Mere

    What Gov. Perry fails to understand here (in addition to being a bigot) is that a gay scout leader (or gay scout, for that matter) is not "teaching" sexuality as a part of the boy scouts "life lessons." Whether someone is gay or straight does not define a person or a scout leader. Being a compassionate, caring, intelligent teacher and mentor does. I can't believe we're even still having this discussion in 2013.

    February 3, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  22. JeffreyRO5

    Homophobia is a treatable condition, folks. A good therapist can help a person overcome feelings that gay people are somehow different from straight people, and that they should be treated differently by the government or other institutions.

    Frankly, Rick Perry has shown his love of pandering to the meanest and least tolerant members of society, not because he agrees with them necessarily, but because they so reliably vote for him. It amazes me how willing Republican politicians are, to focus on currying favor with anti-social voters.

    February 3, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. saneCanadian

    Scouts in Canada have been gay friendly for over a dozen years. So far no apocalypse.

    February 3, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. Shirlee

    This from the man who also wanted Texas to secede from the United States. Duh........

    February 3, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. Jones

    I used to not care, but with Perry against it, I must be for it.

    February 3, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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