Right-wing Christians are opposing Donald Trump's choice of Exxon Mobil's CEO for secretary of state because they believe he turned the Boy Scouts gay.
Friends of Rex Tillerson, who was tapped by Trump to lead the State Department, say the oil executive would promote American values abroad because he's a devoted Eagle Scout with a "sense of duty, loyalty, faithfulness, loyalty -- he embraces all of that."
But Tony Perkins, the head of the anti-LGBT Family Research Council, slammed his choice on ideological grounds, reported Politico.
“FRC knows Tillerson all too well, 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,” Perkins wrote.
Tillerson served as president of the Boy Scouts of America for two years and helped shepherd the organization through its decision to permit openly gay boys to join troops and earn merit badges.
Although Exxon refused at that time to prohibit discrimination of gay employees, Tillerson urged the BSA board to accept openly gay youths.
“I can’t get into the intimacy of these conversations. 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,” said John Hamre, who served with Tillerson on the board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “I think he became a key leader in helping the group come to a consensus.”
That infuriates Perkins, who has otherwise been pleased with Trump's appointees.
"Unfortunately, the BSA, under Tillerson, ultimately caved to the pressure of the far-Left, irreparably splitting the Scouts and destroying a proud and honorable American tradition," Perkins wrote. "Under his chairmanship, ExxonMobil's score on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate 'Equality' Index has also skyrocketed to 87 percent."
Exxon changed its anti-discrimination policy in 2015 to include protections against anti-LGBT bias, the Human Rights Campaign pointed out the revision followed President Barack Obama's executive order requiring federal contractors -- including the oil company -- to protect their gay workers.
Perkins also faulted Tillerson for allowing Exxon to make donations to Planned Parenthood.
"Trump calls Rex a 'world class player and dealmaker,' but 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?" Perkins complained.
“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,” Perkins wrote.