While LGBT activists have long petitioned the Boy Scouts of America to change its antigay policies, right-wing actor Chuck Norris sees this as a sinister conspiracy with President Obama at its center.
In a column posted online this week, the former star of Walker, Texas Ranger lists a variety of connections between Obama and business executive James Turley, a member of the BSA’s national board who has pledged to work from within to end the ban on gay scouts and leaders. Norris wonders, “Is Turley working on his own initiative, or has the White House prodded him with perks and favors?” and continues with a series of paragraphs asking, “Is it a coincidence … ?”
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation reminds Norris that Obama’s Republican opponent in the presidential race, Mitt Romney, has also called on the BSA to accept gay members — in 1994, when he ran for U.S. senator from Massachusetts against Ted Kennedy. “I feel that all people should be able to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation,” Romney said in a debate that year.
Also, Jennifer Tyrrell, who was recently ousted from a leadership post with the Scouts because she is a lesbian, issued a statement challenging Norris. “Chuck Norris is clearly out of touch and I’d like for him to sit down with my family and fellow scouting families who support us,” she said.