The profiles will be shared with media covering the BSA vote next week and are included in GLAAD’s Commentator Accountability Project (CAP), which documents the vitriolic hate speech of the nation’s most vehemently anti-gay activists.
GLAAD called on community members and allies to share graphics to expose these activists: glaad.org/scouts
Those profiled include John Stemberger, the head of the Florida Family Policy Council and founder of OnMyHonor.net, an anti-gay website working to preserve discrimination in the Boy Scouts; Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center designated a hate group in 2010; and Linda Harvey, president and founder of Mission: America, which the Southern Poverty Law Center designated a hate group in 2012.
Stemberger, Perkins, and Harvey each have a long history of hateful, anti-gay rhetoric, even comparing gay people to terrorists and promoting the dangerous and discredited practice of so-called ‘reparative therapy.’
“These are people who aren’t concerned about the wellbeing and values of Scouting, but rather who hold such deep-seated animosity toward gay people that they’ll stop at nothing to put a roadblock on acceptance,” said Rich Ferraro, GLAAD’s Vice President of Communications. “An overwhelming majority of Americans agree that Scouting is for everyone – gay or straight. It’s time the Boy Scouts of America take a page from the American people and adopt policies that welcome everyone.”
GLAAD also pointed to anti-gay statements by Texas Governor Rick Perry, as well as United States Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-MS), both of whom have expressed opposition to equality in the Boy Scouts.
While the activists claim to be working on behalf of Scouting, their previous quotes about gay people show their true motives:
John Stemberger – “These are not just people who have a same sex attraction and want to be left alone to freely define themselves. This is a radical group of political operatives who want to force their aberrant views on human sexuality upon the rest of society by the mandate and penalty of law.”
John Stemberger – Claims inclusive Scouting will lead to boy-on-boy molestation
Tony Perkins – “[Gay people] are intolerant. They are hateful. They are vile. They are spiteful”…”pawns” of the “enemy.”
Tony Perkins – Claims “blood of young marines” is on hands of legislators who voted to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’
Linda Harvey – Claims “the gay idenity is a delusion.”
Linda Harvey – On openly LGB soldiers: “We need non-effeminate men in the military. Does anyone really believe that a prancing drill sergeant won’t detract from readiness? Where women are serving, they should be women of high character, not those who embrace homosexual conduct and publicly declare a “sin” identity. These folks have truly lost their way, their shame, their innate sense of God’s touch on and design for their lives.”
Linda Harvey – Claims that being gay is a “high-risk and sinful lifestyle” and that gay Scouts will try to make “physical and sexual contact” with their “fellow troop members who may not welcome this attention.”
A May 2013 Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that “63 percent of Americans support allowing gay scouts to join, and the public opposes the plan to continue to ban gay adults from Boy Scout leadership by a 56 to 39 percent margin.”
GLAAD first started calls for the Boy Scouts of America to end its ban on gay scouts and scout leaders in April 2012 after Jennifer Tyrrell, a mom and den leader from Ohio was removed from her 7-year-old’s Cub Scout Pack for being gay. Tyrrell’s Change.org petition has attracted more than 330,000 signatures in support of ending the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay Scouts and leaders.
More than 1 million people have joined Change.org petition campaigns since Tyrrell launched her first petition. Since that day, advocacy efforts and successful petition campaigns have recruited two Boy Scout board members — AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and Ernst & Young CEO James Turley — to denounce the national anti-gay policy. GLAAD, together with Eagle Scout and founder of Scouts for Equality Zach Wahls, have also used Change.org petitions to pressure corporate donors such as Intel and UPS to pull funding until the Boy Scouts end their policy banning gay youth and parents. Last fall, a Bay Area mother named Karen Andresen petitioned her local Boy Scout council to honor her son Ryan with an Eagle Award that was denied to him when the Scout came out as gay. An official Eagle Board Board of Review unanimously approved Ryan’s application for Eagle, but a Boy Scout executive ultimately rejected his application.