Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said Sunday that he believes rejecting LGBT people is similar to fighting slavery during the pre-Civil War era.
Appearing on the Family Research Council‘s program “Stand With Scouts Sunday,” the arch conservative governor urged the Boy Scouts to stand strong against any impulse to “tear apart” the organization’s values and replace them with the “flavor of the month.”
“The fact is, this is a private organization,” Perry said of the Boy Scouts. “Their values and principles have worked for a century now. And for pop culture to come in and try to tear that up, which happens to be the flavor of the month so to speak, and to tear apart one of the great organizations that has served millions of young men, helped them become men and great fathers, that is just not appropriate and I hope the American people will stand up and say, ‘Not on my watch.’”
The Boy Scouts have in recent years been caught in the crossfire over LGBT equality, singled out for their policy of banning openly gay people from becoming members or scout leaders. The group is in the process of dropping that ban, but the official policy decision hinges on a vote coming up this month at the scouts’ National Executive Board.
Perry added that the greatest governor in Texas’s history, Gov. Sam Houston, opposed slavery and opposed leaving the union in the pre-Civil War era. “That’s the type of principled leadership, that’s the type of courage, that I hope people across this country, on this issue of scouts and keeping the Boy Scouts the organization it is today, [will have],” he said.
“And if we change and become more like pop culture, young men will be not as well served,” he concluded. “America will not be as well served, and Boy Scouts will start on a decline that I don’t think will serve this country well as we go into the future.”
Although Texas is one of 29 states where employers can legally discriminate against and even fire workers for being gay, LGBT advocacy group Equality Texas found in a poll taken earlier this year that 65.7 percent of Texas voters favor legalization of civil unions and domestic partnerships, while 47.9 percent support legalizing full marriage equality.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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