Robert Gates, president of the Boy Scouts of America, recently said that the organization’s longstanding ban on participation by openly gay adults would somehow cause “the end of Boy Scouts as a national movement.” This comes after the 2013 internal debate that prompted the Boy Scouts Of America to allow openly gay youth as scouts, but continue to forbid gay adult leaders. Before becoming the president in 2014, Gates said that he would have favored ending the ban on gay adults, despite the fact that the Scouts’ policymaking body upheld the ban. The scouts’ New York City chapter broke this policy by hiring the nation’s first openly gay Eagle Scout as a summer camp leader.
What Gates does not realize is that allowing gay leaders could actually harm the Boy Scouts more than it would help. Seventy percent of Boy Scout troops are sponsored by churches, many of which stand firmly for traditional marriage. To allow gay leaders would put these churches into a position where they would have to choose between standing for their faith or for the Scouts. Already, this debate over the Scouts policy has caused a significant drop in the organization’s youth membership, which fell 7.4 percent last year.
President Robert Gates actually got it backwards. The Boy Scouts need to return to the values that it has always stood for. Every Scout is required to know the Scout Oath, which clearly says that scouts pledge to be “morally straight.” If the scouts want to reverse this trend of declining membership, all they have to do is obey their own oath instead of being intimidated by a small, vocal group of liberals who are trying to suppress Christian values.
The Moral Liberal Contributing Editor, Phyllis Schlafly, is Founder and President of Eagle Forum, a best-selling author, and radio show host.
Used with the permission of Eagle Forum.