According to CitizenLink, representatives from 13 states have pledged to oppose any revision to Scout policy that would allow open homosexuals to hold positions of leadership. Since its founding in 1910, BSA has traditionally excluded homosexuals because their lifestyle is inconsistent with the Scout oath to be morally straight.
John Stemberger, spokesman for OnMyHonor.net and president of the Florida Family Policy Council, clarified at a March 23 rally in Orlando that the initiative would allow anyone to participate as Scouts, no matter their sexual orientation. But it would prevent gays and lesbians from holding leadership positions.
"When it comes to young boys, parents have the final say on the issues of sex and politics," Stemberger said.
BSA has been under pressure from gay activists to allow open homosexuals in leadership for more than a decade. Last year, gay activist groups convinced several corporations, including UPS and Intel, to cease funding BSA after its board members unanimously affirmed traditional leadership policies at their annual meeting.
That pressured the BSA to announce its willingness to reconsider revising the 100-year-old policy. The announcement met considerable opposition from parents and religious leaders, including leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention. Members of the SBC Executive Committee warned in a resolution in February that changing the policy would "place the Boy Scouts organization at odds with a consistent biblical worldview on matters of human sexuality." Earlier in the month, BSA's executive board announced it wouldn't make a final decision on the matter until May.
In the meantime, grassroots efforts such as OnMyHonor.net are rallying to raise support for the traditional policy. Changing the policy, they say, would result in a decrease in membership, a rise in sexual misconduct and overt pro-homosexuality political activism.
During OnMyHonor's March 23 event, former U.S. Congressman Dick Schulze from Pennsylvania urged BSA board members to uphold tradition, asking, "What kind of a message are we sending to our young people if the very leaders who are teaching Boy Scouts to be brave, cannot even find the courage to stand firm and avoid caving to peer pressure from Hollywood and political activists?"
This story first appeared in WORLD News Service, an affiliate of WORLD magazine (www.worldmag.com). Used by permission.
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