Texas Governor Rick Perry prides himself on being a former Eagle Scout. He has expressed his deep appreciation for the organization and all he had learned in becoming a man and leader in a book he authored in 2008 titled “On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For.” In the book Perry describes reasons why the Scouts should continue its values and one of those values he speaks of is the organization’s anti-gay policy. The Associated Press reported on Saturday that Perry spoke at a gathering of scouts from around Texas and said he doesn’t think the policy banning gays should be changed.
Perry’s response comes in wake of the organization’s announcement earlier last week that it could son lift its national ban on allowing gay members, volunteers and staff at a board meeting to take place this week. The Boy Scouts of America has come under much scrutiny since reaffirming the policy last July. Since then the Scouts has lost major sponsorship due to the discrimination of the law.
Perry told the group of youth that a key reason that he joined the U.S. Air Force and later became a political figure were to the Scouts and actually blames the high rates of teen pregnancy and misguided youth on society’s failure to embrace the core values of the organization.
Perry told reporters after the gathering:
“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. I think most people see absolutely no reason to change the position and neither do I.”
But Fred Sainz of the Human Rights Campaign feels the Texas governor is out of touch with America.
“It’s a shame that Governor Perry has chosen to be on the wrong side of history,” said Sainz. “There should be one national, non-discrimination policy. We can’t quite wrap our head around why that is so difficult to do in 2013”
The Scouts mission of honor, diversity and leadership wouldn’t change because of sexuality. But because Perry feels that sexual preference is something taught, he is standing behind his beliefs on why the no gay ban should continue and points at gay activism being a distraction.
In his book he wrote:
“Because gay activism is central to their lives, it would unavoidably be a topic of conversation within a Scout troop. This would distract from the mission of Scouting: character building, not sex education.”
Governor Perry should be reminded that character building involves embracing and accepting every aspect of who you are.