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. BlueDem1

    I couldn't care less what Rick Perry thinks. It's a shame the media still gives him attention.

    February 3, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. dave

    What kind of openly heterosexual interaction is currently appropriate in the Boy Scouts? If sexuality is not an appropriate issue for the organization (I'm sure most could agree to that), why create a separate standard for openly homosexual interaction? It is the act of banning homosexuality that creates the unwanted problem of it being an issue in the first place. Unless you have a world view that the gays are always wrong, in which case the sky must be falling right now. Please let us know when you suffer some real damage from this.

    February 3, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    I'm sure he has several good reasons why he thinks this is bad idea. Now if he could only remember them.

    February 3, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. Larry L

    @Woman In California

    As a minority, I've experienced quite a bit of discrimination so I don't discriminate against gay people, but I also believe in the word of God so I will never accept this lifesytle as "right".
    =============================================================================================== I recal as a child hearing a preacher quote Biblical passages "proving" God wanted all races of people to live in a segregated fashion. I've heard others "prove" women's rights violate God's plan. The word of God was written by men and the meaning is interpreted by them to suit their particular needs. It can be used to justify anything.

    February 3, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. Larry L

    It's quite entertaining to Google-up the phrases "Rick Perry" and "gay". A book has even been written on the subject.

    February 3, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. ByrdJ

    He should remember the old adage that people that live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

    February 3, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. Larry L


    Room temp IQ, how does this guy continue to survive. Only in Texas.
    =========================================================================================== In our defense he'd be about normal in all of the "red states". In Mississippi he'd be considered intelligent...

    February 3, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  8. Martin

    I always notice that its people without sons in Boy Scouts who are the most vehement about forcing BSA to promote homosexuality. There have always been gays in Boy Scouts. They aren't singled out or exiled. It's the people who want openly gay people highlighted that make this an issue. You're gay? Fine. Good for you. Now shut up. You want to impress me? Lets see you guys pressure Islamic groups to be more inclusive of gays? How about the black community? See any gay pride marches through black neighborhoods lately?
    You freaking hypocrites ( mostly white liberals who think they are just smarter than you) need to take up new hobbies besides tearing down our country's great organizations.

    February 3, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  9. kpete

    Yes, the Boy Scouts is about teaching important life lessons, but they're not going to teach about sexuality if they allow openly gay members. I don't understand why people continue to be afraid of gays and lesbians. I don't understand why people still continue to think that being gay or lesbian is somehow going to affect the way a person performs their job. It's really beginning to disgust me how far behind we still continue to be when it comes to completely integrating them into society. It's just really sad.

    February 3, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. Michele Hessler

    I've been a leader for both Boy and Girl Scouts. In the hundreds of hours I've spent working with both organizations, sexuality or sexual orientation has never come up in any way, shape or form. I think we would all agree that these would be topics for parents, not Scouts. So therefore, sexuality is a non-issue, and I see no reason to ever discriminate on this basis.

    February 3, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. spent

    Good for Perry!!!! Gay's go to an island, take all your lover's with you and just get red a s s as you like. Leave us normal folks to enjoy our lives without interference from your perverted life.

    February 3, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  12. mistamista

    So, Rick Perry is opposed to gay young men in the Boy Scouts? What a coincidence! The world is opposed to Rick Perry and his inane babble! Prejudice begets prejudice. I wonder if Mr. Perry has been hunting lately?

    February 3, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  13. joejeffrey

    So let's see how that works. Since sexuality is irrelevant to scouting, a kid's sexual orientation is a reason to keep him out. Sort of like, "Since coffee is irrelevant to scouting, coffee-drinkers should be kept out of scouting." Or, "Since hair color is irrelevant to scouting, people with brown hair should be kept out of scouting." Right. Perry's always been a dim bulb, but this one really puts it on display.

    February 3, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. Doc Ock

    This is why perry is viewed by the rest of the world as an idiot. It's 2013 and he is living in 1953. even worse, it speaks volumes about the people that keep voting for this bigot.

    February 3, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. Dusty

    Just another piece of garbage for the trash heap of history.

    February 3, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. Steven

    As a former scout, I always have disagreed with the organization's policy on homosexuals, but respected their right as a private organization to set their own rules for membership. If the building pressure on the BSA to change the policy is finally working, it's about time.

    February 3, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  17. John

    Hey Rick, I'm Democrat. I'm also an Eagle Scout, and I'm with you on this one. I don't care who approves of my opinion, and who doesn't. Never cared for "political correctness".

    February 3, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  18. Kane

    Perry: "As it says in the Scout Oath, a scout is Physically strong, morally straight, and...uh, um...what's the third one? Oops."

    February 3, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  19. YBP

    @RSG: When LGBT Americans no longer have to pay taxes into a system that discriminates against them, thus supporting the very machine that oppresses them, an incredible injustice in the US, then perhaps there will be fewer radicals out there to trouble you so. I'm not saying to make LGBTs tax exempt. No one should be tax exempt. I'm saying fix the machine. It's true that discrimination is coming to an end. Of course there will be a backlash from those who believe that everyone must accept and hold the beliefs of their particular brand of Judaism, Christianity or Islam, something that Americans are supposedly protected from, and we will have to continually fight it. So, I don't expect that either you or I will see an end of so-called radical LGBT people crying out for justice and fairness in our lifetime. So try to cope with it.

    February 3, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  20. Steve - TX

    Typical closet republican gay... hate on gays till your caught... Look it up.. .Perry and Gay... In Texas is not a big secret except to the far right and they have their head buried in the sand.... LOL

    February 3, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  21. asm_ith

    Does Perry think that the kids don't know that gays exist? By having a policy that excludes them, the BSA are essentially teaching a lesson about sexuality, contrary to Perry's assertion. They are teaching that gays don't belong with others, that being gay is bad. If they admit gays, there won't be any new reason to teach sexuality; the scouts just continue doing everything they have been doing, just with some gay members or leaders.

    February 3, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  22. Allouchsit

    If the BSA changes its current policy concerning gays it will lose much more than it will gain. It thinks it will gain millions of dollars of financial contributions. That may be true. But it will lose thousands of current volunteers who not only make millions of dollars of financial contributions, but also provide millions of hours of volunteer service that make it possible to run the BSA's program. If these thousands of volunteers leave, who will run the program? I think the BSA is about to go out of existence.

    February 3, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  23. honestmidwest

    Isn't this the same "brainiac" that couldn't even remember the top 3 agencies he desperately wanted to get ride of? I believe his days of having any credibility have come and gone.

    February 3, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  24. chill485

    Here's the thing. When a boy joins Scouting, he is 6-7 years old as a Tiger Cub. At that point in his lfe he neither thinks much about or really understands sexuality of any kind. That changes over time of course, but a Scout would likely be well on his way to Eagle Scout before coming to the firm conclusion that he is gay. So at that point he has a choice- give up the organization and the goal he has been working on for maybe a decade, or break the first point of the Scout Law- Trustworthy- by lying about himself. It makes no sense to put a scout in that position. Frankly I'd prefer that a gay but abstaining scout be awarded Eagle than a promiscuous heterosexual scout.

    February 3, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  25. Bill Davis

    Perry and GOP keeps their supporters busy with I consequential bs while offering nothing by way of helping the country.

    February 3, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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