Target: Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas)
Goal: Tell Governor Perry discrimination in the Boy Scouts is not “working.”
Recently Texas Governor Rick Perry emphatically stated that the Boy Scouts should keep their anti-gay policy. An Eagle Scout himself, Governor Perry wrote a book in 2008 titled “On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For.” His book discussed his love and appreciation for the Boy Scouts, which helped motivate him to join the U.S. Air Force and seek public office. It also outlined why the Scouts should adhere to their traditional, conservative values, which include banning openly gay members from joining or being Scout leaders.
Governor Perry encouraged the Boy Scouts to stick to their openly discriminatory stance on sexual orientation. Governor Perry stated, “It [not allowing openly gay individuals into the Boy Scouts] has worked for a hundred years of scouting, and to have popular culture impact [the Boy Scouts’] standards is inappropriate.”
The fact is, this discrimination in the Boy Scouts has not worked for hundreds of years and should it should not be allowed to continue for a hundred more. Participating in a progressive society means amending the ignorance and wrongs of the past—discrimination, no matter who it is against, is one of those wrongs.
Currently, discrimination for sexual orientation is expected to be readdressed at the Scouts’ national executive board. Governor Perry stated that, “Hopefully the board will follow their historic position of keeping the Scouts strongly supportive of the values that make Scouting this very important and impactful organization.”
Are these the “American values” that society should be imparting to young boys? Tolerance, respect, compassion—these should be among the American values taught by the Boy Scouts, side-by-side with responsibility and leadership.
By signing the petition below, you can tell Governor Perry that discrimination in the Boy Scouts, has, in fact, not worked for a hundred years, nor is it in the best interests of the Boy Scouts who want to be taught values that will serve them in society and in the future.
Dear Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas),
Recently at the Texas Scouts’ annual Report to State, you claimed that not allowing openly gay individuals into the Boy Scouts, as members or as leaders, “has worked for a hundred years of scouting…”
This is inappropriate and grossly untrue. Discrimination, whenever and wherever it is enforced, does not “work.” Systematic exclusion of openly gay members does not benefit either the Boy Scouts as an organization or the individuals who participate it. Being an upstanding member of progressive society, in part, means learning from the prejudices and wrongs of the past and not repeating them from the future. Discrimination is one of those wrongs, and the Boy Scouts have the power to not continue to repeat the injustice of excluding men and boys because of their sexual orientation.
After the Texas Scout’s annual Report to State, when being interviewed about the traditional and conservative values of the Boy Scouts, you expressed the belief that, “Without such values, morality becomes this abstract concept.” Making the Boy Scouts a far more tolerant and understanding organization, and far less a discriminatory group reenacting prejudices of the past, will not degrade their morality. The process of defining what is moral and just through action and deconstructing systematic discrimination uplifts the morality of those who participate.
[Your Name Here]