(Photo: Boy Scouts of America)
The Family Research Council and 41 other allied organizations have released an ad in USA Today urging the Boy Scouts of America not to compromise on their ban on gay people serving as leaders in the organization.
The FRC argued in a statement shared with The Christian Post that BSA needs to stand firm on its timeless values and "not surrender to financial or political pressures by corporate elites on the issue of homosexuality." As it has been reported, for the first time last week BSA indicated that they are reviewing their long-held position on gay members.
President Barack Obama has also backed this review, saying in a pre-game interview with CBS anchor Scott Pelley before Sunday's NFL final: "I think that my attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does in every institution and walk of life."
In an email to CP, the BSA clarified that "the policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic, or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue." However, they explained that they would not dictate such a change to units, members or parents. "Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization's mission, principles, or religious beliefs."
Several conservative groups, however, have warned against this proposed change in policy. Besides the FRC, the American Family Association, American Values, Bott Radio Network, Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, International Communion of Evangelical Churches, Liberty Counsel, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Patriot Voices, and a number of state family policy organizations also put their names on the ad.
"Every American who believes in freedom of thought and religious liberty should be alarmed by the attacks upon the Boy Scouts, whose oath includes that members should be 'morally straight,'" the ad says. "To compromise moral principles under political and financial pressure would teach the boys cowardice, not courage."
The ad concludes: "How will parents be able to entrust their children to the Boy Scouts if they trade the well-being of the boys for corporate dollars?"
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, an Eagle Scout, spoke at the Texas Scouts' 64th annual Report to State in the House and urged the Boy Scouts to keep their membership policy as is.
"Hopefully the board will follow their historic position of keeping the Scouts strongly supportive of the values that make scouting this very important and impactful organization," Perry said. "I think most people see absolutely no reason to change the position and neither do I."
Some liberal groups and churches have welcomed the proposed policy change, however, with the Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer, United Church of Christ executive on LGBT concerns, arguing::
"In this spirit, on this National Boy Scout Sunday, let us proclaim, 'We welcome ALL Boy Scouts,'" Schuenemeyer said,referring to Feb. 3 annual event. "Let us demonstrate this value with actions, communicating our support for a Boy Scouts of America that opens the door to everyone, including gay and bisexual scouts and scout leaders."