Rick Perry is Pretty Sure Lifting its Gay Ban Will Destroy Scouting

The debate over whether Boy Scouts of America should allow gay members and volunteers will come to a head this week, as the organization's board of directors descends on Irving for its regular meeting.

They will be greeted by a full-page Human Rights Campaign ad in the Dallas Morning New and a quartet of gay scouts and leaders bearing a Change.org petition with 1.4 million signatures, both urging the BSA to lift its ban on gays.

But the ban still has plenty of vocal supporters, among them Governor Rick Perry who, you might recall, wrote the -- or at least a -- book on scouting.

On Saturday, in remarks made to hundreds of scouts visiting the capital on Saturday as part of the Texas Scouts' 64th annual Report to State, Perry credited the organization with the decision to join the Air Force and seek public office and blamed a good chunk of the nation's problems, including high rates of incarceration and teenage pregnancy, on a failure to adhere to scouting's core values, according to the Associated Press.

Speaking to reporters after his speech, Perry expressed hope that 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."

"I think most people see absolutely no reason to change the position and neither do I," he said. This is in line with what he wrote about gay scouts in his book: "Because gay activism is central to their lives, it would unavoidably be a topic of conversation within a Scout troop. This would distract from the mission of Scouting: character building, not sex education."

But just think: If Perry's logic holds and lifting the ban would inflict a mortal wound on the core values that inspired Perry to run for public office, then gay scouts would have meant he remained an obscure dryland farmer in West Texas, rather than the state's longest-serving governor.

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