Gay rights activists have a much broader agenda for the Boy Scouts than allowing homosexuals to be members and Scout leaders, contends a coalition of parents, scouts and scout leaders that seeks to maintain the organization’s century-old policy.
John Stemberger, an Eagle Scout and the founder of OnMyHonor.net, pointed out at rally in Orlando, Fla., that homosexuals are already part of the program.
“They are discreet, they are appropriate, they are private, and they don’t act out in front of kids,” he told Fox News.
“What they want is full-blown gay activism in scouting,” he said, “and that’s what they can’t have under the current policy.”
Representatives from more than a dozen states gathered in Florida Saturday to announce their opposition to any attempt to allow open homosexuality in the BSA.
BSA lawyers are preparing a draft resolution of the policy change for release April 22. The BSA National Council will vote on it during its meetings May 22-23 in Grapevine, Texas.
Stemberger said a policy change would devastate the Boy Scouts program.
“We think that sex and politics should stay out of Scouting,” he said. “We think that’s utterly inappropriate where boys as young as 6 and 7 years old are being trained to be men.”
As WND reported, a change in policy is guaranteed to lose the organization membership and leadership, as many have vowed to resign rather than work under the new policy.
Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, warned Boy Scouts Chief Executive Wayne Brock earlier this month that a change in policy could result in a mass exodus of troops, according to Fox News.
Last month, BSA leaders instructed local committees to “further engage representatives of Scouting’s membership and listen to their perspectives and concerns.”
The new coalition vows to “keep sex and politics out of scouting” through rallies, petitions and appearances at BSA meetings ahead of the National Council’s vote in May.
Stemberger insisted parents should have the final say on the issues of sex and politics.”
“It would be an enormous mistake if they allowed homosexuality in scouting,” he said. “They have no idea what these folks really want to do.”
Stemberger told Fox News that unless the organization embraces the 2000 Supreme Court decision that ruled the BSA had a constitutional right to freedom of association, “every single unit will be subjected to a legal attack.”
“Millions of dollars will be spent on litigation,” he said. “They will file lawsuits against churches, VFWs and a lot of them will abandon scouting.”
The new coalition says its members “affirm scouting’s timeless values and will work to keep open homosexuality out of the Boy Scouts.”
It wants to “influence the resolution committee, the BSA voting delegates and the general public regarding the legal, social, political and financial implications of changing the membership policy.”
The coalition says it plans to gather parents, Boy Scout leaders, major donors and Eagle Scouts in all 50 states who support the current membership policy.
Last month, the BSA executive committee, at its meeting in Irving, Texas, decided to delay the vote on the proposed policy change until May amid strong opposition. The decision will now be in the hands of the larger National Council, which has as estimated 1,400 voting members.
The proposal would allow local Scouting organizations to establish their own rules for membership.
The BSA explained its decision to delay the vote: “After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy.”
Among critics of the policy change was Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and wrote a book about the Scouts. Another, Jonathan Saenz, president of the Austin-based Texas Values, pointed out that 70 percent of Boy Scout groups are affiliated with churches.
“A lot of those faith groups do not agree with the homosexual lifestyle and will pull out,” he warned.
President Obama has spoken out in favor of allowing homosexuals, asserting they “should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does in every institution and walk of life.”
Last year, the BSA formally reaffirmed its traditional position of banning homosexuals from the ranks after a two-year review of the policy.
In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the right of the organization to exclude homosexuals, because homosexual behavior violates the core values of the private organization.
WND reported the BSA’s policy proposal coincides with a sudden drop in major corporate funding that began last summer after a “gay”-rights blogger for the Huffington Post published a collaborative report that named the donors and chastised them for violating their own policy of not discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.
The Scouts count more than 2.7 million members and more than 1 million volunteers.