Religious-Right Groups Launch Campaign to Pressure Boy Scouts to Keep Gay Ban

by Dan Quinn

UPDATE
Late Thursday the haters at the right-wing Texas Pastor Council sent out an email promoting a “Save Our Scouts” rally on Wednesday at the Boy Scouts of America national headquarters in Irving (near Dallas). The message promotes the smear that gay people are inherent threats to children and churches:

Pastors, if the scouts fall, the church is next in the sights of the activists committed to forcing their immorality on society – WILL YOU COME?

Fathers, if we allow our boys to be targeted by those who believe there is no moral code and no definition of gender – WHO WILL DEFEND OUR CHILDREN?

Mothers, your voice of courage and protection of the virtue of our children is desperately needed – WILL YOU STAND ALSO?

The email includes a link to a website where activists can get phone numbers (provided by the American Family Association) for each board member for the Boy Scouts of America. The website encourages activists to insist that board members not “allow homosexuals to serve with boys.”

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News that Boy Scouts of America is considering whether to end its national policy banning gay scouts has sent the religious right into a foaming rage nationally and in Texas, where the organization is based. A Boy Scouts of America official says the policy — if adopted — would allow local units to continue discriminating, but the national organization would no longer require the ban. Religious-righters have launched a campaign to keep that policy from being adopted.

The Texas Pastor Council, for example, is circulating an email from the American Family Association calling on religious-right activists to contact and pressure board members and other leaders of Boy Scouts of America on the issue. From the email:

“The question is whether or not the BSA will choose to be bullied by homosexual activism or will tighten its boot straps and vote to remain “morally straight.”

See: A PLEA TO SCOUTS: DON’T LET THE ‘BAD GUYS’ WIN

Tens of thousands of phone calls and emails have flooded the BSA National Council offices. By an overwhelming margin, the BSA is being encouraged to stand firm with the current policy of prohibiting homosexual men from serving as mentors and leaders of young boys.”

You might recall that Texas Gov. Rick Perry asked the American Family Association — which the Southern Poverty Law Center categorizes as a hate group — to organize his prayer extravaganza in Houston’s Reliant Stadium in 2011 just before he announced his ultimately disastrous bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Another group, Liberty Institute Texas Values, sent out a similar appeal on Wednesday. From that email:

“The [Boy Scouts of America] has been instrumental in building the character of tens of millions of boys in our country, including countless boys right here in Texas, and developing them into men. The organization has led by example and stood on principal in resisting the constant bullying efforts of the homosexual activists looking to undercut the values and mission of the organization.

Retreating from their long-held and principled policies would be devastating to the organization and would undercut the values that have allowed the organization to successfully develop the character of so many boys. In addition, many Scout Groups meet at local churches. How will this potential change impact churches and the ability of Scout Groups to meet? And despite the attacks on the Boy Scouts from homosexual activists and the media, recent surveys have shown that only 42 percent of Americans support changing the policy to allow homosexual scout leaders.

The BSA Board plans to meet next week and could decide as early as Monday. It is critically important that they hear from those that share our values and stand with them regarding their current policy on homosexuality. Please call the Boy Scouts of America at their national office in Irving, TX at 972-580-2330 and tell them you support the organization standing firm on their moral values and that they should not change their policy on homosexuality.”

A Concerned Women for America email calls on readers to “save the Boy Scouts of America!”

“The Scouts are being bullied by homosexual activists who are putting pressure on the Scouts’ corporate sponsors to force the BSA to finally embrace homosexuality as normal and moral. . . . We must not let this moral institution that has brought so much good to our nation be corrupted by a radical fringe who insist everyone else approve of their behavior. Christians, especially, must stand up now, for little by little our religious liberties are being taken away while we remain silent.”

From Mat Staver, the head of the odious group Liberty Counsel:

“People like Jerry Sandusky should not be permitted to be Scoutmasters. To allow homosexual Scoutmasters or homosexual Scouts will put young boys at risk. The mere thought is ridiculous.”

Of course, kids should be protected from child rapists of any sexual orientation, but it’s never surprising when religious-right groups still trot out the old discredited smear that gay people are all pedophiles. Bigotry rallies around such nastiness.

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