Boy Scouts’ Gay Policy Review Has Right-Wing in Frenzy
Gay rights activists and their allies may be ecstatic at the news that, after years of controversy including a Supreme Court decision, the Boy Scouts of America are going to reconsider their policy that excludes gay boys as scouts and adult gay men (and lesbians) as leaders.
It will probably not come as a surprise to readers that, as happy as liberal and civil rights groups were, those on the opposite side of the political spectrum -- along with the religious right -- were equally unhappy. Their leaders, pundits and media personalities didn’t waste any time in slamming the organization’s announcement.
The comments ranged from dire predictions of the end of the scouting movement (conveniently forgetting the Girl Scouts have been gay- and trans-friendly for years and are thriving) to this harking to the Republic ending in fire and brimstone (again!). Overall, they more or less took the same tone, that predators would be let loose on boys in troop meetings and scout camps; that gay or questioning boys would prey on their helpless fellow scouts; and that church groups would forbid scouts from meeting in their facilities.
Soon after media outlets reported the BSA’s decision, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who has not shied away from vocalizing his anti-gay opinions in the past, took to Twitter for a string of execrations regarding the news. Here are a few nuggets: "Jerry Sandusky is now the poster boy for the Boy Scouts of America," referring to the serial child molester who was a coach at Penn State University and is now in jail under multiple sentences.
Another read, "BSA under tremendous financial strain. Coffers depleted fighting Big Gay in court, Verizon, Google ending matching funds," in which he actually may have stumbled on truth. Finally this analogy, "A homosexual does not belong in the same tent with young boys any more than a man belongs in a tent full of Girl Scouts" (forgetting that many men co-serve as Girl Scout troop leaders).
On his Internet radio show, he fulminated, "This is just unbelievable to me. This is a suicide mission on the part of the Boy Scouts. They’re done. They’re toast. They’re history. We know that homosexuals offend against children at roughly ten times the rate that heterosexuals offend against young children. There is a risk there - it’s just insanity that they are relaxing the standard."
Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, accused the Scouts of "abandoning their historic values. The Boy Scouts of America board would be making a serious mistake to bow to the strong-arm tactics of LGBT activists and open the organization to homosexuality," he said, as quoted on the blogsite Right Wing Watch. "What has changed in terms of the Boy Scouts’ concern for the well-being of the boys under their care? Or is this not about the well-being of the Scouts, but the funding for the organization?"
Last year, FRC launched a boycott against UPS because the company decided to stop corporate funding to the BSA over its anti-gay policy. (UPS stock has been trading steadily since then.)