Tony Perkins: ‘The Boy Scouts should have a policy like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’
The President of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins has again voiced his opinion that the Boy Scouts of America should leave intact its ban on gay volunteers members and staff, saying that a policy similar to the repealed ban on openly gay people serving in the military would be appropriate.
Mr Perkins said that he would not allow gay scout masters, linking homosexuality to paedophilia, and claiming that, if the BSA were to lift its ban, human rights activists would “force” it to change the curriculum to add discussions on sexuality.
Speaking on his radio show, Washington Watch, he was questioned by a gay Eagle Scout who called in to ask why he would suggest that allowing gay scout masters would be the “downfall” of the scouts.
He replied: “Let me speak to you from the standpoint of a father. When you’re talking about two factors – you’re opening up the scouting up to men who would be scout leaders who identify as homosexual, who are attracted to men. Other men. People of the same-sex. Whether or not that’s boys. There is a higher incidence of male on boy sexual abuse than female on boy. So that’s an issue.
“It’s also an issue of other scouts who might be homosexual that would be in that environment with my son. It doesn’t pass the parent test. I wouldn’t let my neighbour who is heterosexual, married and has kids, I wouldn’t let him go camping with my girls, so why would I let a man who is attracted to men go campaign with my boys.”
The Eagle Scout Walter, replied to say he was trying to understand why it was such an issue. He said he had been through seven years of scouting, attended every trip, and simply enjoyed the friendships he made. He went on to say that he “didn’t make an issue [of being gay], because it wasn’t an issue”, and that he know of five other scouts who had since come out.
On the audio clip of Mr Perkins speaking on Washington Watch posted by Good As You, Mr Perkins referenced the files kept by the BSA on instances of child molestation.
He said: “You bring up a good point – there’s clearly those that are homosexual that are in the scouts now. But it’s not the focal point and its not made an issue, but here’s what happens. Groups like [Human Rights Campaign] have said that what the Boy Scouts have proposed is not enough. What they’ll want is the curriculum changed so that sexuality is discussed, and it becomes a part of who the scouts are. That’s not what the scouts are.
“That issue has been left to the parents, not a part of the scout curriculum. I guarantee you if this change is forced upon the scouts, the curriculum will change to reflect this.”
Walter then interjected to ask if Mr Perkins had read something from the HRC which said it wanted to change the scouting curriculum, to which Mr Perkins replied that he had not, but that he “could tell” that is what woud happen.
He then made claims that the Girl Scouts’ partnership with Planned Parenthood had meant it added sexuality to its curriculum, and said: “The focus becomes on sexuality. I am fine with, if someone wants to keep their sexuality private. When I was in the Marine Corps, it was essentially the same policy there, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was there. That’s your business don’t make it my business.
“Don’t try to force that on other people. That was basically the attitude. We’ve seen what’s happened now within the military is changing its curriculum to identify promote diversity officers. The chaplains are having their messages censored.
“Scouting is a private organisation that is grounded in the moral teachings of Judeo-Christian values, and noone should compel the scouts fo jettison their moral convictions on human sexuality or faith in God to satisfy those who want to exercise their sexual identity.”
He concluded: “Nobody, whether it’s heterosexual, homosexuality or anybody.”
Late in January, Mr Perkins blamed the repeal of don’t ask don’t tell for suicides in the US military. DADT was repealed on 20 September 2011, amidst warnings that the US military would be aversely affected by the change.