After initially defending his description of the Girl Scouts as a "radicalized organization" that "promoted homosexuality," an Indiana lawmaker issued an apology to the organization this week.
On Saturday, the Journal Gazette printed a letter sent to Indiana lawmakers from Rep. Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne), which explained why he would not support a resolution honoring the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts. In the letter, Morris accuses the Girl Scouts of "encouraging sex," being a "tactical arm of Planned Parenthood" and listing only "feminists, lesbians and Communists" as role models.
Despite criticism from members of both parties and the Girl Scouts, Morris stood by his decision to pull his daughters out of their Indiana Girl Scout troop, but did apologize for the tone of his letter in a Thursday editorial:
After reflecting on the letter I wrote on February 18, 2012 to my fellow Indiana Republican Representatives, I realize now that my words were emotional, reactionary, and inflammatory. For that I sincerely apologize. I apologize to the Girl Scouts of Indiana and all of the girls and parents of Indiana who are participating in and running their Girl Scout organizations in a way that promotes leadership, community involvement and family values. I certainly should not have painted the entire Girl Scouts organization with such a wide brush.
Morris went on to say that he still will not support the resolution because the Girl Scouts "promotes sex education," which he cannot support "in good conscience."
In hindsight, I never should have written the letter. However, I still would not sign the Resolution honoring the Girl Scouts – not because of any local troops or even the Girl Scouts of Indiana, but because of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (Girl Scouts USA) and its policies. My conscience would not allow me to publicly endorse an organization that partners with Planned Parenthood – our State’s leading abortion provider. My family and I view abortion as the biggest evil of our time.
"On the national level, inflammatory and generally inaccurate claims about a partnership between the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood have been promoted primarily by anti-choice lawmakers seeking to place pressure on organizations to disassociate or distance themselves from Planned Parenthood," Betty Cockrum, the chief executive of Planned Parenthood of Indiana, said in a statement to the Associated press.
Indiana's Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma teased Morris about his initial letter to lawmakers, and later handed out boxes of Thin Mints to House members.
"I purchased 278 cases of Girl Scout cookies in the last four hours," Bosma said, adding that Morris needed to do more research on the 100-year-old scouting organization.
Read Morris' entire editorial here.