Texas-based troop leader Thom Fairleigh sparked local controversy over comments he made in an interview with The Highlander in which he implied that gay scouts were akin to criminals. In addition, he said he was able to maintain sponsorship from First Baptist Church of Marble Falls by agreeing to refer gay scouts to counseling if they came out.
"It’s just like if a boy came to me and said he’s a thief," Fairleigh, leader of Marble Falls Troop 284, is quoted by the publication as saying. "In Christian love, I would say, ‘You’ve got a problem and that we definitely will not approve of it’ and we would send him to get pastoral counseling.”
As Raw Story pointed out, Boy Scouts of America Capitol Area Council spokesperson Charles Mead told local news channel KEYE that Fairleigh’s position conflicted with the organization's policy, noting that Scout leaders should always "direct questions of that nature back to the family."
Of course, it's hardly the first eyebrow-raising claim to be made in reference to the Boy Scouts after the organization first announced it would permit gay youth scouts to participate last year.
The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer, whose anti-gay declarations have become a near-weekly staple of his "Focal Point" radio show, told listeners last year that the Boy Scouts' debate was a “suicide mission” and would undoubtedly lead to pedophilia, Right Wing Watch first reported.
"Male homosexuals offend against [male] children at roughly 10 times the rate that heterosexuals offend against young children," Fischer said at the time.