The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) aren't slated to make a decision regarding their controversial policy on gay participants until May, but that hasn't stopped a new group from coming forward with an unusual interpretation of the guidelines.
As Fox News is reporting, a coalition of Eagle Scouts, Scoutmasters and parents have come together as a new organization called OnMyHonor.net. Members of the group say they believe that the BSA's existing policy should not be amended because "discreet" gay participants are already permitted, according to the report.
Calling the BSA "one of the great jewels of American culture," OnMyHonor founder John Stemberger said, "What they want is full-blown gay activism in scouting, and that’s what they can’t have under the current policy.”
Of the BSA's existing gay members, Stemberger added, "They are discreet, they are appropriate, they are private and they don’t act out in front of kids.” He then urged BSA leaders to listen to parents "rather than Madonna and Bill Gates."
Similar sentiments appear on the group's website. "Current BSA policy is time-tested and fair, allowing anyone to participate regardless of sexual orientation," one section states. Members also warn that any change to the BSA policy would lead to "open, public and inappropriate expressions of physical affection between homosexual boy scouts and adult gay scout leaders," and "a surge of boy-on-boy sexual conduct that will result in further public scandal in addition to the tragedy of physical, sexual and emotional abuse to countless boys," among other consequences.
Last month, the BSA reportedly distributed a questionnaire asking for its members' stance on homosexuality, with situational questions on gay men camping with children and gays in church leadership. The survey was distributed to 1.1. million adult Scouts, according to the Associated Press.
News that the BSA was re-considering its ban on gay participants has divided Scouts and pundits. Speaking on "The 700 Club," Pat Robertson asked whether dropping the ban would open the door to "predators" and pedophiles."
A former Boy Scout himself, Gates said he felt the policy "absolutely" needed to be scrapped "because it's 2013."
The BSA's anti-gay policy has been the subject of frequent debate following the case of Jennifer Tyrrell, who was forced to resign as leader of her 7-year-old son's Tiger Scout den after revealing she is a lesbian.
The Boy Scouts are not under have any legal obligation to change their policy, however. In 2000 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the organization is exempt from state anti-gay discrimination laws.