Religious-right groups are holding a “Friendly, Courteous, and Kind” rally today to support discrimination against gay youth as the Boy Scouts of America’s leaders gather for their annual national conference in the Dallas-area city of Grapevine. The 1,400 delegates at the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America will consider a proposal to allow gay youth to be Boy Scouts. That policy would continue to bar gay adults from serving as scout leaders.
Texas Values, the Texas Pastor Council and other state and national religious-right groups vehemently oppose any change to the current blanket ban on gay scouts. “The proposed resolution would allow open homosexuality in the Boy Scouts and would foster it on boys in all scouting units,” Texas Values declares on its website.
The Texas Pastor Council has used similarly incendiary language, such as in this February email to activists criticizing any changes to the Boy Scouts gay ban:
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? WILL YOU COME and PRAY?
Mothers, your voice of courage and protection of the virtue of our children is desperately needed – WILL YOU COME and PRAY?
The Texas Pastor Council also circulated an email from the anti-gay hate group American Family Association warning against a policy “that would allow homosexuals to serve with boys.” These and similar statements from religious-right groups promote the vicious smear that gay people are by nature threats to children.
The “Friendly, Courteous, and Kind” rally? It sounds to use more like the “Hostile, Insulting, and Hateful” rally.
So who will the Boy Scouts delegates in Grapevine stand with this week — those who think it’s time for the Boy Scouts to welcome gay youth or religious-right groups who insist on discrimination and hate?