Gov. Rick Perry of Texas said emphatically Saturday that the Boy Scouts of America should not soften its strict policy barring gay members, and dismissed the idea of bending the organization to the whims of “popular culture.” Mr. Perry, the country’s longest-serving governor, is an Eagle Scout, and in 2008 he wrote the book “On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For.” It detailed his deep love for the organization and explained why it should continue to embrace traditional conservative values — including excluding openly gay members and leaders. The governor spoke at the Texas Scouts’ 64th annual Report to State, where hundreds of scouts from across the state filled the State House of Representatives to announce their delegations’ recent accomplishments. Mr. Perry had addressed the gathering several times before, most recently in 2010. The Scouts’ national leadership announced last week that it was considering ending the mandatory exclusion of gay members. The group could allow different religious and civic groups that sponsor Scout units to decide for themselves whether to maintain the exclusion or open up their membership.
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