US: New group launched to keep gays out of Boy Scouts – says don’t listen to Madonna or Bill Gates
A new traditional values group has been set up in the US, and is opposing open homosexuality in the Scouts and targeting a Mexican restaurant chain over the issue.
The group, named On My Honor, is calling for customers to avoid Mexican restaurant chain Chipotle following its cancellation of sponsorship to the Boy Scouts of America.
On My Honor are urging BSA leadership to not “go the way of popular culture” as Chipotle has.
At a press conference on Saturday, attended by BSA CEO Wayne Brock and national commissioner Tico Perez, John Stemberber announced the launch of the new group.
“We have a two-and-a-half-month window to ensure the Boy Scouts do not go the way of the popular culture,” Mr Stemberber said, “and we think it’s more important they listen to the members of scouting themselves instead of to Madonna or Bill Gates.”
Earlier this month Madonna highlighted her opposition to the BSA ban on gay members by wearing a Boy Scout uniform to the GLAAD awards, and Bill Gates was quoted as saying the ban should be lifted “because it’s 2013”.
Mr Stemberber added that the group will conduct a petition drive on its website and encourage rallies in the hope that “the professionals do not lead us down a place that is ultimately going to change and transform scouting into something parents cannot really trust and support.
“Sex and politics are matters that should be reserved to parents only and not for other individuals – including scoutmasters. And so we think it would be inappropriate to have those individuals act out [their homosexual tendencies] within a program that really is all about teaching character and values,” he said.
On My Honor membership will consist of Scouts, parents, and Scout leaders who hope to make an impact on BSA leadership before the meeting in May when the issue is to be decided by the Scouts’ troops.
The Boy Scouts are an ‘integral part’ of Mormon culture in Utah – where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sponsors 99% of the Scout troops in the Salt Lake City area.
Chipotle Mexican Grill pulled out of the event after BSA delayed making a decision on whether to open their membership to gay people, saying the Scouts were “not consistent” with their anti-discrimination policy.
The Boy Scouts have already lost funding from several large corporate donors, including UPS, back in November, who had given over $150,000 (£95,000) to the BSA, and Intel, another of the scouts’ largest donors, ceased funding back in September.