Rick Perry yesterday once again entered the national conversation, submitting his two cents (it would have been three cents but he forgot the last penny) on whether or not the Boy Scouts of America should drop their ban on gay people. Of course, the Texas Republican governor said, “no.” But lost in the Associated Press article was Rick Perry’s reasoning (which has been lost on America for decades.)
“America’s longest-serving governor addressed the Texas Scouts’ 64th annual Report to State, where hundreds of Scouts from around Texas filled the state House of Representatives to announce their delegation’s recent accomplishments,” the AP reports:
Even though the Boy Scouts reaffirmed the no-gays policy just seven months ago, the proposal is expected to be discussed, and possibly voted on, at the meeting of the Scouts’ national executive board, which begins Monday in Irving, outside Dallas.
[Governor] Perry told the youngsters that the Scouts was a key reason he joined the U.S. Air Force and later sought public office, and that society’s failure to adhere to the organization’s core values was a cause for high rates of teen pregnancy and wayward youth who grow up to be “men joining their fathers in prison.”
Speaking to reporters afterward, Perry said: “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,” Perry said. He said his views on the subject haven’t changed since writing his book, in which he noted that profits would be donated to the Boy Scouts of America Legal Defense since “they continue to be under attack from the forces of secularism.”
Asked if he would feel different about the Scouts if the policy is changed, Perry wouldn’t say. But he added: “to have popular culture impact 100 years of their standards is inappropriate.”
Apparently, Rick Perry has relied on the Boy Scouts (and abstinence-only sex education) to reduce the rate of teen pregnancy in the state of Texas, which is perhaps why Texas ranks an astonishing number four (as in fourth-highest rate of teen pregnancies) in the nation for teen pregnancies.
Just how allowing gay scouts and gay scout leaders into the Boy Scouts would increase the incidence of teen pregnancy — or teen incarceration, for that matter — Governor Perry did not bother to mention.
By the way, as The New Civil Rights Movement reported in 2011, Governor Perry equated homosexuality to alcoholism in his 2008 book, On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting for, and suggested “radical gay rights groups” are intolerant.
For the record, alcoholism is classified as a substance use disorder. Homosexuality is not a mental disorder at all.
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