The Boy Scouts' proposed resolution that would allow for gay members but not gay leaders is "incoherent," says Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.
The head of the conservative Christian lobbying group pointed out the inconsistency of the proposed resolution, announced Friday, that would convey the message that "homosexuality is morally acceptable until a boy turns 18…"
"The policy is incoherent and, sadly, an affront to the notion that Scouts are brave, reverent, and 'morally straight,'" he said. "The resolution specifically references homosexual youth but this is a distinction without a difference because advancing into leadership positions is integral to the Scouting experience."
Perkins also warns that the resolution would make BSA vulnerable to lawsuits because it would no longer uphold its argument that considering homosexual conduct as immoral is a core value, which helped BSA win in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Since late January the Boy Scouts of America have been embroiled in controversy for considering a major policy reversal over allowing openly gay individuals to be scout leaders and members. The Christian Post previously reported that a critical factor in the Christian organization considering to change its policy on membership is due to pressure from corporate sponsors. The American Independent's review of corporate giving to BSA in 2010 revealed that Intel gave at least $10,000 to BSA, and in September 2012 the company announced it would stop donating to the Scouts unless it lifts its ban on openly homosexual members and leaders. Then a month later, pharmaceutical giant Merck made the same ultimatum. Package delivery company UPS also made the demand for BSA to change its gay membership policy in December 2012, or risk losing financial support. And BSA national board members Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, and James Turley, CEO of Ernst & Young, have also said they will try to lift the ban on gay membership.
But the BSA is meeting strong resistance from church bodies, which play a large role in running local scout chapters. The Southern Baptist Convention – the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. – passed a resolution in February urging BSA leadership to not change their policy banning openly gay members. The Roman Catholic Church and the Mormon Church have also opposed the BSA changing its policy, sources tell CP, although they have not been as vocal as the SBC.
The latest development in the BSA membership policy struggle was likely a compromise effort, but Perkins is outright rejecting the resolution.
"This resolution would introduce open homosexuality into the ranks and eventually the leadership of Scouting. This is totally unacceptable to the vast majority of Scouting parents who want to keep their exclusive right to discuss issues of sexuality with their sons," he said.
"The stated mission and message of the Boy Scouts is clear, and changing their policies to appease one group will only encourage other special interest groups to demand that the Scouts make more changes to please them," Perkins argues. "An atheist leader has already declared that if the policy on homosexuality changes, then there is no reason why atheists should not also have their way and remove God from the Scout oath and the term 'reverence' from the Scout law."
Leaders of the BSA will vote on the proposed resolution at the group's Board meeting in Texas next month.
And Family Research Council will host a nationwide simulcast event called, "Stand with Scouts Sunday," on May 5, to call on BSA to reaffirm its longstanding policy on homosexuality. The simulcast can be seen here: www.standwithscoutssunday.org