Faith and Freedom Coalition founder Ralph Reed is vigorously refuting a published report that he sought to help the Boy Scouts of America persuade Christian leaders to back a proposal to allow gays to become scouts.
Current BSA policy is to bar membership to "open or avowed homosexuals." But a proposal to be voted on this month, supported by some leading BSA officials, would permit gays to become members while maintaining a ban on gay adult volunteers.
"Most conservative Christians oppose the proposal, so the Boy Scouts of America have engaged a high-profile advisor to help them make their case: Ralph Reed," states an article on the WORLD website of God's World Publications.
Reed, the report states, has arranged meetings and conference calls between "Christian conservative leaders and BSA officials who support the pro-gay resolution."
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The article quotes John Stemberger, founder of OnMyHonor.net, a group opposed to the policy change: "After the introduction is made, the BSA officials try to convince these top conservative evangelical leaders to support the resolution by finding friendly media venues to discuss it."
The WORLD report notes that Reed has said he is "on record opposing a change in the current policy," but Stemberger called Reed's comment "doubletalk," adding that his calls "could not help but further the resolution."
But Reed, who earlier served as executive director of the Christian Coalition, left no doubt about where he stands on the issue. He released this statement:
"My relationship with the Boy Scouts began 43 years ago and continued as I became an Eagle Scout, a vigil member of the Order of the Arrow, the father of two Scouts, and a member of the executive board of the North Georgia Council of the Boy Scouts. To be clear, I support the current membership policy of the Boy Scouts and have said so publicly.
"The Scouts approached me and asked if I would help foster a conversation with the faith community, which I believe is beneficial to all parties involved and can only strengthen Scouting. My role was to facilitate a dialogue based on mutual understanding and respect. At no time have I acted as either a spokesperson or an advocate for the Scouts or a change in their membership policy."
Reed also made his position clear on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV
back in February, saying it would be a "grave mistake" for the BSA to change its policy on gay members.
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