ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who
is President-elect Donald Trump's
nominee for Secretary of State. (AP)
President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, lobbied for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to change its rules on youth membership and allow homosexuals to join the organization, according to the Dallas Morning News.
That rule change, which Tillerson spoke about in a speech at the May 2013 National Annual Meeting of the BSA, states, “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”
Two years after that rule change, the BSA changed its rules again to allow homosexual men to work in the organization as Scout Masters and in other positions.
“Tillerson was instrumental in lobbying the Scouts’ board to accept openly gay youths,’ said John Hamre, president of the Washington think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS], of which Tillerson is a board member,” reported the Dallas Morning News on Sept. 6, 2014. (Tillerson has served on the CSIS Board of Trustees since 2005.)
“’I can’t get into the intimacy of these conversations,” said Hamre. “’But he agonized over this. He prayed on it, and ultimately he came to the conclusion the only thing that can guide him here is what’s best for the young boys. I think he became a key leader in helping the group come to a consensus.’”
Tillerson grew up with Scouting and earned the rank of Distinguished Eagle Scout. The BSA was a defining influence on him, according to friends and news reports.
On May 23, 2013, at the Gaylord Texas Hotel in Grapevine, Texas, nearly 1,400 volunteer voting members of the BSA voted to allow openly gay youth to join the organization. Sixty-one percent of the volunteers voted for the change, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
Tillerson spoke the day after the vote, according to Scouting Magazine.
“So we’ve made the decision, we’re going to change,” said Tillerson. “Now what? Now what?... What really is ahead of us now is the hard work of helping every one who wasn’t here, understand it.
“Most of the reasons that organizations fail at change is pretty simple,” said Tillerson. “People don’t understand why. They don’t understand the mission. They don’t understand what does this mean for them. They don’t understand their role. What’s happening to me? What’s happening to my colleagues…. So now what we’re really about is going to be a lot of communication.”
“Regardless of where you were on this decision, it’s also very normal for people to feel like there are winners or losers,” he said. “I’m here to tell you that’s not true…. There are neither winners nor losers. What’s left after we made the decision to change is the mission, and the mission has not changed. But how are we going to implement the change?”
Commenting on Tillerson as Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said, “The Left, which doesn't usually need a reason to oppose Trump's choices, won't find many here, since the ExxonMobil executive may be the greatest ally liberals have in the Cabinet for their abortion and LGBT agendas.”
“That should be particularly alarming to conservatives, who've spent the last eight years watching the State Department lead the global parade for the slaughter of innocent unborn children and the intimidation of nations with natural views on marriage and sexuality,” said Perkins.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. (FRC)
“FRC knows Tillerson all too well,” he said, “having worked for years to put the brakes on his reckless agenda for a scouting organization that was already dealing with staggering numbers of sexual abuse cases."
"Unfortunately, the BSA, under Tillerson, ultimately caved to the pressure of the far-Left, " said Perkins, "irreparably splitting the Scouts and destroying a proud and honorable American tradition.”
“Under his chairmanship, ExxonMobil's score on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate ‘Equality’ Index has also skyrocketed to 87 percent,” said Perkins. (ExxonMobil’s current rating is 85.)
“Still, Trump calls Rex a ‘world class player and dealmaker,’” said Perkins. “[B]ut if these are the kinds of deals Tillerson makes -- sending dollars to an abortion business that's just been referred for criminal prosecution and risking the well-being of young boys under his charge in an attempt to placate radical homosexual activists -- then who knows what sort of ‘diplomacy’ he would champion at DOS?”