LGBT advocacy groups have been quick to praise Boy Scouts National President Robert Gates, who called for an end to his organization's ban on gay adult participants earlier this week. But Gates' remarks have drawn their fair share of conservative criticism, too.
Gates raised the possibility of revising the Boy Scouts' policy May 21 at the BSA's national annual meeting in Atlanta, saying that the current "membership standards cannot be sustained," referencing a number of Scout councils that have defied the ban.
Franklin Graham, son of evangelical leader Billy Graham, was quick to slam Gates' remarks in a lengthy Facebook post, arguing that any forthcoming revision to the policy would "put young, innocent boys at risk."
A word to fathers: if you care about the sexual integrity of your sons, GET THEM OUT OF THE BOY SCOUTS NOW.
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) May 22, 2015
Meanwhile, Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, a conservative lobbying organization, blasted both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts, the latter of which reiterated its transgender-inclusive policy this week after the American Family Association launched a petition against the organization because of that stance.
As Right Wing Watch first reported, Perkins argued that allowing openly gay adults to participate in the Boy Scouts would be another example of "the emasculation of our culture" and ultimately would make boys "soft" in a "Washington Watch" interview this week.
"You cannot survive as a culture," he said in the broadcast, which can be heard below. "You have to have warriors, you have to have a subculture that’s a warrior culture, that’s just a reality, and that’s being dismantled, one organization, one piece at a time."
The Boy Scouts last revised their policy in May 2013, when the organization ruled to accept openly gay youths starting on Jan. 1, 2014. Since that time, the ban on openly gay adults has remained in place.