The head of the Family Research Council is accusing Merck Corp., Intel Corp., and United Parcel Service with intimidating the Boy Scouts of America by threatening to pull contributions to the group unless it lifts its ban on gays serving in its ranks.
Council President Tony Perkins on Monday joined 41 other groups in placing an ad urging the Boy Scouts of America not to succumb to financial and political pressures on the issue of admitting gays into the group.
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“We’ve seen over the last couple of years a number of left-leaning corporations trying to impose their politically correct views on this topic upon the Boy Scouts. Just this last year, UPS withheld contributions to the Boy Scouts and basically said it’s not in line with our diversity view,” Perkins said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV.
"We contacted UPS and said you’re forcing a view of yours upon the Boy Scouts and they said they had every right to do that and to determine who they gave money to. I don’t argue with that, but of course we can also determine who we’re going to do business with, and we did $80,000 in business last year with UPS. We pulled out and encouraged others to do the same.”
Perkins said the Boy Scouts have wrestled with the issue in many ways. Last year, they released a study that identified more than 1,900 child abusers, some of whom had abused more than 25 different boys.
“The question the Boy Scouts should have to answer is will this policy change provide a safer environment for the children under our watch and make scouting a better experience,” Perkins said. “I don’t think they can say that.”
Addressing President Barack Obama’s recent comments that gays and lesbians should have the same access to opportunities across every institution and walk of life, Perkins said it shows the president is out of step on the issue.
“Compare what he said to what (Texas Gov.) Rick Perry said on Saturday night, who is an Eagle Scout and understands the mission of the Scouts. [Perry] said, ‘Look, this has no place in the Scouts. The Scouts have never been about teaching sexuality, why should we make it so now?’ Parents said we want to teach our boys about sexuality and don’t want the Scouts doing that,” Perkins said.
Perkins said the policy change "makes a challenging situation even more challenging for the Boy Scouts and parents."
He also noted that "69 percent of these troops are chartered by faith-based organizations," a situation he said could lead to pastors and churches saying, "We can’t go down this path if this is where the Boy Scouts are going."
"This could have serious, serious repercussions for the Boy Scouts,” Perkins observed.
Turning to the controversy over contraception and concerns raised by conservatives and faith-based organizations over providing birth control coverage, Perkins said he doesn’t believe the administration’s proposed revisions to the rule will change much.
“The exemption was a very narrow one. It’s only churches, synagogues and a religious order that’s exempted. Religious hospitals, schools and individuals with religious convictions still have no exemption,” he said.
"On its face, the federal government is now telling an individual business you will provide this service and this product without compensation. That should be frightening to every American, regardless of where you stand on abortion or contraception," Perkins added.
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