February 4, 2013
WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) - Even though the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed their no-gays policy just seven months ago, the proposal is expected to be discussed, and possibly voted on, at the meeting of the Scouts’ national executive board, which begins Monday in Irving, outside Dallas.
According to Reuters, the 70-plus strong national executive board is planning on debating whether or not to cease the existing prohibiting of gay membership in the organization, first stating last Monday that they were considering lifting the global ban and allowing local chapters to make their own decisions regarding the allowed sexual orientation of its members.
Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum took a stance on the upcoming vote expected from the BSA, who has offices and chapters in the Washington, D.C. area, regarding whether or not to allow homosexuals to join the organization.
“[W]hen I saw that the Boy Scouts of America executive board is convening on Wednesday to discuss abandoning the organization’s founding moral principles that nurture boys into men, I was saddened, but not surprised,” he stated in the editorial, published yesterday on the conservative news website WorldNetDaily.
His note specifically mentions board members James Turley, who additionally serves as CEO of Ernst & Young, and Randall Stephenson, the CEO of AT&T. He also mentions executives at Merck and UPS, both of whom contribute funds to the BSA, according to Santorum – and have allegedly said they will discontinue contributing if changes in policy don’t happen, the editorial noted.
“I implore [these people] to read the Boy Scout Law. It is filled with words that have long left the popular lexicon when applied to young men, but I suspect traits you would value in your employees: trustworthy, loyal, courteous, thrifty, obedient, clean and reverent,” Santorum wrote. “Yes, the Boy Scouts are not of the popular culture. They haven’t transformed themselves to keep up with what is cool or trending, so in the mind of the intolerant liberal mind they must be forced to conform.”
Santorum has, in the past, been criticized for his views on homosexuality. While speaking with the Associated Press, he likened homosexual intimacy to incest and other widely derided acts.
“If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery,” he was quoted as saying to the AP by CNN. “You have the right to anything.”
His views regarding gay rights appear not to have changed, as he equates attempts to allow homosexuals into the scouting organization with an attempt “to remove God from all areas of public life.”
Santorum additionally credited liberal Americans with a bevy of other social shifts he perceives as negative.
“Over the past 50 years, the left in America has successfully transformed American society,” he said in the editorial. “Among the long list of liberal victories is the growth of the welfare state, sexual liberation, removing God from the public square, abortion, affirmative action, redistribution of wealth, more government control of business, radical environmentalism and the transformation of the family.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry agreed with Santorum, stating emphatically on Saturday that the Boy Scouts of America shouldn’t soften its strict no-gays membership policy, and dismissed the idea of bending the organization to the whims of “popular culture.”
Perry wrote in his book, “On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For,” that he doesn’t “believe the teaching of sexual preference fits within the parameters of Scouting’s mission,” but also made it very clear he’d like to keep gay members from joining.
“Because gay activism is central to their lives, it would unavoidably be a topic of conversation within a Scout troop. This would distract from the mission of Scouting: character building, not sex education,” he wrote.