Appearing on the Family Research Council’s radio show, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said he’s disappointed that Democrats do not support banning gay people from the Boy Scouts of America, mainly because former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) was revealed to have made sexual advances toward underage congressional staffers.
“Back when there was a scandal in the House, I guess there was some left-wing group that had found out and then they sat on it for about a year and then right before the election released this story about one of our members from Florida making inappropriate advances toward eight pages, under age,” he said, according to excerpts clipped by Right Wing Watch.
Gohmert added that he was pleased then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reacted with horror. “But apparently the things she had to say were only to condemn Republicans in an opportune movement that had nothing to do with being consistent when it came to the Boy Scout program,” he lamented.
Gohmert’s guest on the show, Florida Family Policy Council President John Stemberger, responded by plugging his group’s “Stand with Scouts Sunday” event on May 5, during which he hopes people all over America will meet and strategize to keep LGBT people out of scouting. “Those of us who feel passionate about this, we need to fight to make sure we preserve scouting in America,” he said.
Rep. Foley ultimately faced no criminal charges, even though he appeared to have violated the law. He was ultimately forced out of Congress. Almost six years later, as Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) found himself embroiled in a sex scandal of his own making, Foley appeared on Fox News and told Republican talk show host Sean Hannity that he thinks it should be legal to send sexually explicit messages to children.
Additionally, Fox News was among the organizations that were clued in to Foley’s proclivities up to a year before the story broke, but the network never broached the subject. It’s not clear why Gohmert blamed a “left-wing” group for keeping the story quiet until the 2006 elections.
Foley was never officially involved with the Boy Scouts, although his name was mentioned on the organization’s now-scrubbed list of congressional supporters. He sponsored legislation in 1998 that gave the Boy Scouts access to the FBI’s criminal database, ostensibly to protect scouts from sex offenders.