News Outlets Rely On Tony Perkins For Anti-Gay Boy Scouts Commentary
January 31, 2013 11:46 am ET by Carlos Maza
Major news outlets turned to Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins for commentary on the Boy Scouts’ decision to revise its ban on openly gay members, ignoring the hate group leader’s history of trying to link homosexuality to pedophilia.
In the week since The Boy Scouts of America announced a review of the organization’s ban on openly gay members, major news outlets have turned to Perkins to provide a voice in opposition to the move. The New York Times, LA Times, CNN, and Fox News all included portions of Perkins’ statement on the controversy in their reports:
“The Boy Scouts of America board would be making a serious mistake to bow to the strong-arm tactics of LGBT activists and open the organization to homosexuality. What has changed in terms of the Boy Scouts' concern for the well-being of the boys under their care? Or is this not about the well-being of the Scouts, but the funding for the organization?
"The Boy Scouts has for decades been a force for moral integrity and leadership in the United States. Sadly, their principled stances have marked them as a target for harassment by homosexual activists and corporations such as UPS which are working to pressure the Boy Scouts into abandoning their historic values.
"The mission of the Boy Scouts is 'to instill values in young people' and 'prepare them to make ethical choices,' and the Scout's oath includes a pledge 'to do my duty to God' and keep himself 'morally straight.' It is entirely reasonable and not at all unusual for those passages to be interpreted as requiring abstinence from homosexual conduct.
"If the board capitulates to the bullying of homosexual activists, the Boy Scouts' legacy of producing great leaders will become yet another casualty of moral compromise. The Boy Scouts should stand firm in their timeless values and respect the right of parents to discuss these sexual topics with their children," concluded Perkins. [emphasis added]
As usual, Perkins’ statement to mainstream media outlets is notably more restrained than the kind of hateful rhetoric he uses in the comfort of his own anti-gay circles.
In the January 29 edition of FRC’s Washington Update, Perkins explained the real reason behind his support for the Boy Scouts’ gay ban – he thinks gay Scout Leaders are going to molest their children:
So what exactly is the incentive?... Is it safety? Because unless something changed in the last seven months, the Scouts are still dealing with the fallout of more than 2,000 cases of child molestation with the current policy in place! Can they honestly tell parents that entrusting little boys to men with same-sex attractions is somehow going to reduce the incidence of child sexual abuse?
Perkins’ extreme position hasn't exactly been a secret. FRC earned its “hate group” label from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) largely because it continues to promote the myth that gay men are more likely to be child molesters than straight men. Despite being rejected by every major medical expert who has studied the issue, the “gays are pedophiles” talking point has been at the heart of FRC’s support for the Boy Scouts’ anti-gay ban.
Perkins clearly prefers to tone down his rhetoric when talking directly to mainstream media outlets, but it doesn’t change the fact that his position is based on one of the most damaging smears in anti-gay politics. So why are news outlets like CNN and The New York Times giving his comments a national spotlight?