(CNSNews.com) – Conservative leaders decried the Boy Scouts of America’s vote on Thursday to allow openly homosexual boys to join the Scouts, and some people critical of the vote now are working to create a separate scouting organization based on traditional morals.
“Fathers and mothers who want their boys taught moral virtues now need to leave the Boy Scouts of America behind for reliable Christian-based scouting organizations,” said Randy Thomasson of SaveCalifornia.com, a conservative organization that had previously advocated for maintaining the Scouts’ policy of prohibiting openly gay members.
On Thursday, May 23, more than 1,400 volunteer scout leaders at the BSA’s annual meeting in Grapevine, Texas, voted in favor of lifting the 22-year ban on openly gay scouts. Sixty-one percent reportedly voted to overturn the ban.
In a statement on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), an Eagle Scout himself, denounced the BSA national council’s vote, saying, “Some of us in America still believe in the concept of sexual morality, that sex is intended for one man and one woman within the institution of marriage. Organizations that hold to this philosophy and promote it among our youth, should be commended or at least, you would think, tolerated. Unfortunately, the intolerant left bully and browbeat private organizations like the Boy Scouts into accepting their philosophy.”
“Notice they didn’t start their own organization,” said Bridenstine. “They went after the Boy Scouts of America. The Left’s agenda is not about tolerance, and it is not about diversity of thought. It’s about promoting a worldview of relativism, where there is no right and wrong – then using the full force of the government to silence opposition and reshape organizations like the Boy Scouts into instruments for social change. To my friends on the left, this is not tolerance. But here’s the good news about true tolerance: the most tolerant one of all has the ability to redeem us all.”
Texas Governor and former Republican presidential primary candidate Rick Perry echoed that view, stating in a press release shortly after the vote to overturn the ban:
“The Boys Scouts of America has been built upon the values of faith and family for more than 100 years and today's decision contradicts generations of tradition in the name of political correctness. While I will always cherish my time as a scout and the life lessons I learned, I am greatly disappointed with this decision.”
The Boy Scouts oath reads:
“On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.”
OnMyHonor.net, which claims to be “the nationwide coalition of concerned parents, Scout leaders, Scouting Donors, Eagle Scouts and other members of the Boy Scouts of America,” opposed to a repeal of the 1991 ban on openly homosexual scouts.
The group issued a press release following the vote, and announced that it will host a meeting this summer to discuss the creation of an alternative organization for boys, an organization in line with the traditional values of many Boy Scouts and their families.
“There we will discuss the creation of a new character development organization for boys,” said OnMyHonor.net. “We will host and facilitate a national coalition meeting of former BSA parents and other youth leaders who wish to return to truly timeless values that once made the BSA great.”
Although the decision by the BSA national council will not change the prohibition on openly homosexual adult scoutmasters in the organization, the Thursday decision represents a dramatic shift for the BSA. According to the BSA’s official website, as of January 1st, 2014, “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”
According to Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, the change in policy represents the first step in a series of compromises that will eventually unhinge the century-old scouting organization from its traditional moral foundation.
"The delegates succumbed to a concerted and manipulative effort by the national BSA leadership despite the BSA's own survey showing 61 percent of its members in opposition to changing the policy,” said Perkins. “It is clear that the current BSA leadership will bend with the winds of popular culture, and the whims of liberal special interest groups. There is little doubt that God will soon be ushered out of scouting as well.”