By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com November 15 2012 3:53 PM ET
Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council have finally said why they really oppose gay men being allowed to join the Boy Scouts of America or to serve as troop leaders. It's a "safety" issue, they claimed Tuesday.
ThinkProgress points out that in Tuesday's issue of "Washington Update," which is branded as if coming from president Perkins himself, FRC defends the Boy Scouts' antigay policy with a logic that paints gay people as pedophiles.
FRC was reacting to the news that UPS has followed other companies, including Intel, in ending donations to the national group.
"What UPS and other corporations refuse to acknowledge is that the Scouts' policy isn't a matter of intolerance — but security," wrote Perkins. "After hundreds of cases of child sex abuse plagued the organization, the BSA tried to create a membership criteria in the best interest of kids' safety and parents' rights."
The BSA was recently forced to release what are commonly called the "Perversion Files," which was a list of cases of suspected sexual abuse along with a list of potential abusers. The list blatantly grouped anyone found to be gay alongside actual pedophiles.
"Over the years, the Boy Scouts have paid millions — possibly hundreds of millions — to boys victimized by same-sex predators," Perkins reasoned in his newsletter. "And the financial toll was nothing compared to the emotional trauma of these children, whose lives are forever scarred by those encounters. For more than 100 years, the Scouts have focused on instilling character and leadership into America's boys. They aren't about to compromise that mission just to placate liberal companies and activists."
The Boy Scouts' antigay policy is not limited only to men either. Among the most high-profile recent cases is that of Jennifer Tyrrell, a mom who is a lesbian and who was removed as a den leader earlier this year.
Perkins and FRC, which is classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "hate group," are not alone in defending the Boy Scouts by claiming young boys need to be protected from gay people. Mike Huckabee took a call on his radio show from a molestation victim and said, "You make us all understand why the Boy Scouts made a decision that at least I think was the right one."