Today, GLAAD released quotes from many of the most prominent figures arguing in the public sphere against allowing gay teens and parents to participate in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), exposing the true motivation behind their efforts: anti-gay animus.
Help us spread the word by sharing these graphics on Facebook and Twitter, and take action to bring equality to the Boy Scouts at http://glaad.org/scouts.
John Stemberger is the head of "On My Honor," which is fighting against the movement to make the BSA inclusive. He says the current ban only affects those who "[wave] the rainbow flag and [promote] gay activism." This claim is easily proven false by even the most basic look at the stories of those who have been at the forefront of this movement. But even if it were true, it would imply that Stemberger is okay with gay people being in Scouting, as long as they're not activists. He is not okay with gay people at all.
Stemberger says the law should ban gay couples from being foster parents. He says that being gay is both "dangerous" and "artificial." He also says that "no religion can save [the American experience] except for Christianity," by which he clearly means his brand of it.
This is another common theme. Family Research Council leader Tony Perkins says that making the BSA inclusive would be tantamount to saying "goodbye to God." Perkins points out, correctly, that 70% of scout troops are sponsored by churches, synagogues, and faith-based organizations. What he ignores is the fact that many of those sponsors – and it's a growing list – actively oppose the ban on gay scouts and parents, and support the LGBT community.
Why does he ignore (or outright reject) this information? Because Tony Perkins believes that those of us who are working for an inclusive BSA (and other LGBT equality advocates) are “pawns of the enemy,” and comparable to terrorists. He has called for parents to reject their gay children. He referred to the end of the ban on openly gay service in the military as being similar to the 2012 movie theatre shooting in Aurora, CO.
Linda Harvey, another of the loudest voices on the anti-gay side, equates support for LGBT youth with support for child prostitution. These three, along with people like Texas Governor Rick Perry and Mississippi Congressman Steven Palazzo have yet to reveal the real motivation behind their efforts - which is that they just don't like gay people.
These are not the beliefs of those who merely want the Boy Scouts to stick with tradition. Stemberger, Perkins, Harvey and the vast majority of the voices being called on by the media to oppose inclusion are not speaking from a place of concern, or of fairness, or even of faith – they are speaking from a place of animus.
If you see any of these spokespeople on your local or national news, or if you see other instances of defamation in the media, tell us here.
A May 2013 Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that "63 percent of Americans support allowing gay scouts to join, and the public opposes the plan to continue to ban gay adults from Boy Scout leadership by a 56 to 39 percent margin."
GLAAD first started calls for the Boy Scouts of America to end its ban on gay scouts and scout leaders in April 2012 after Jennifer Tyrrell, a mom and den leader from Ohio was removed from her 7-year-old’s Cub Scout Pack for being gay. Tyrrell’s orginal Change.org petition has attracted more than 343,000 signatures in support of ending the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay Scouts and leaders. Tyrrell, together with GLAAD, has launched a new petition to urge the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to completely lift its anti-gay ban on both youth members and adult employees and volunteers. To take action on this issue please visit www.glaad.org/denmother. For more on GLAAD's work on this campaign, including a timeline of key events, visit www.glaad.org/scouts.