Romney Waffling On Boy Scout Ban As Members Continue To Return Medals

A Tumblr site chronicling Eagle Scouts who are returning their badges because of the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on homosexuals has published more than 80 letters.

It’s a powerful message—more symbolic than anything else as the Scouts award  50,000 of the medals every year—but one that’s definitely getting media attention.

The men breaking ties with the organization are a diverse group. Dr. Joshua White of Iowa, writes:

“I am not gay.  I have family and friends, however, that are openly gay and have found peace and happiness as such.  These are individuals worthy of respect and love, and I cannot honor them by endorsing your organization.  I cannot allow my son to participate in your organization and learn to view others as less than himself.  I will not tolerate discrimination, and this unfortunately has come to include your organization, which I have long held dear.”

Raymond Arnold’s words were like poetry:

“Giving back my Eagle badge is a personal little ritual. Months of frustration, pressed into a small, cheap icon that only has meaning because I decide it does. I’m holding it in my hand for the first time in a while, and it feels a lot heavier than it should. Like there’s a whole person inside it – somebody I used to be.”

And attorney Jackson Cooper of Louisville, KY, gives a more personal reason:

“…my now deceased mother, a lesbian, would not have been allowed to serve as a den mother if her orientation had been public knowledge. The thought that I have invested such a large part of my life with an organization that would have turned my own mother away breaks my heart.”

The Scouts don’t seem as moved as we are by these words: “We’re naturally disappointed when someone decides to return a medal because of this single policy,” said Boy Scouts spokesman Deron Smith. “We respect their right to express their opinion.”

Meanwhile, the Associated Press is reporting that presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is sticking to the position on the ban that he had in 1994, when he said, “all people should be able to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation.”

Of course, right before he made that statement, Mitt said “I support the right of the Boy Scouts of America to decide what it wants to do on that issue.” Sounds like he means personally he feels one way, but policy-wise it’s another thing.

That’s just what we want in a president: Someone who can identify injustice when it rears its ugly head, but doesn’t want to do anything about it.

It’s also interesting to note that Romney’s denomination, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, charters more Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops than any other religious group—37,000 units with some 420,000 members. (The Scouts have about 2.7 million members in all.)

So the most famous Mormon in the world right now won’t even urge his religious leaders to stand against what he identifies as bigotry. What a mensch.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #boyscouts #eaglescouts #mittromney stories and more


  • tom

    I like the idea of sending back our medals and badges. I have sent back all of my merit badges and eagle scout medal to have a positive way of protesting a decsion I dont agree with. I also think a positive protest of Chik Fila is in order. Instead of all of the juvinile things I have seen on here I believ we should all buy some chicken on the same day Chik Fila and mark our money so that they know it was purchased by homosexual people. I have called my local Chik Fila and asked if they serve gay people and was told the most certainly do. Its all about the money take a day and show this guy how much we could give him if he wasnt so homophobic. Its ok to take our money so lets show him how much he could have or force him to say he wont sell to us.

  • samwise

    @tom: Tom, I’m glad that you returned your badges. It shows you have integrity. However, I completely disagree with your plan about Chick Fil A. I don’t know this for sure, but I suspect that anyone who has health insurance because they work there, cannot cover their significant other if they’re in gay or lesbian relationship. So when you fork over your money to the cashier, remember, that person might be gay but they are discriminated against. And, do you really think that the CEO Cathy cares whether gay people eat at his restaurants? I say he does. He wants gay money so that he can donate it to the churches and institutions that also discriminate against gay people.

  • B

    No. 2 · samwise wrote, “@tom: Tom, I’m glad that you returned your badges. It shows you have integrity. However, I completely disagree with your plan about Chick Fil A. I don’t know this for sure, but I suspect that anyone who has health insurance because they work there, cannot cover their significant other if they’re in gay or lesbian relationship.”

    They could be fired for being in a gay or lesbian relationship in some states but not others. There are a number of lawsuits against Chick-Fil-A for discrimination. According to a Forbes article “Chick-fil-A, the corporate parent, has been sued at least 12 times since 1988 on charges of employment discrimination, according to records in U.S. District Courts. Aziz Latif, a former Chick-fil-A restaurant manager in Houston, sued the company in 2002 after Latif, a Muslim, says he was fired a day after he didn’t participate in a group prayer to Jesus Christ at a company training program in 2000.”

    Also (from that URL): “If a man can’t manage his own life, he can’t manage a business,” says Cathy, who says he would probably fire an employee or terminate an operator who “has been sinful or done something harmful to their family members.”

    I.e., they would fire you for having gay sex, even if it is with someone you married. Even if you live in a state that allows same-sex marriage and has laws banning discrimination, they can still fire you – all they have to do is to transfer you to another state where the laws do not protect you and then fire you there, perhaps waiting 6 months so they can claim it wasn’t a sham transfer.

  • jeff4justice

    Fuck anti-LGBT politicians, churches, and business.

    However fuck Obama and his Democrats of war & poverty too.

    I am not voting for any of these 2party system psychopaths.

  • Hyhybt

    How are “I believe you ought to do this” and “I support your right to choose to do that instead” contradictory?

  • Cam


    Tom, Chik Fil A sends money that supports people who advocated for the kill the gays bill in Uganda. I can not in good conscious provide money that may be used to kill gays in other countries.

    Why would we give money to a group that hates us….how about doing what worked with Target. Boycott, their take goes down and they swear they won’t do it again.

  • Cam

    And Dan Avery,

    In a roundabout way you finally wrote a post that mentioned the Mormon Church. You didn’t go into details, but at least you mentioned them. Good start.

  • samwise

    @jeff4justice: So if Romney wins and is able to appoint one or more judges to the Supreme Court, you won’t feel a tad guilty?

  • marc

    As a past active scout, and a holder of the eagle badge, I still recall my parents and grandparents faces when I was awarded that eagle. I recall the work I did on my community project, initiating and overseeing a food pantry for the elderly, particularly those home bound by circumstance. I delivered 70 households worth of food and toiletries every weekend. I remember all the names, all the faces. I never asked them if they were gay, and to this day, that would not have been an issues. I knew we had gay scouts, I had met a few at jamborees, and I never thought that was curious or out of place. I did think the one assistant scout master, long removed, who inititated a circle jerk one camp out with perhaps 10 boys was probably gay, but regardless, he was way out of line. I was one of the people interviewed about the incident. I told the truth. He was arrested, replaced, and did time as a sex offender. This ‘boycott’ of the Scouts, the token returning of their eagles is counter productive. The BSA can not afford to have anyone likely to take sexual advantage or set up sexual situations amongst the boys. Kinsey, dated, but still our sigle largest study, found that 30 plus percent of all child molesters are homosexual, and that child molesters are uniquely drawn to organizations where children are to be found. If you are a gay chicken hawk, or a gay pedophile, what better place to ‘hunt’ then a place where everyone is a boy, all between the ages of 12 and 18. The BSA could not afford the insurance if they allowed openly homosexuals as troop leaders. its like the Catholic Church, 2 billion dollars in 40 years paid out, primarily due to homosexual molestations of young boys. This fact is the same fact gay activists use to demean the church, proof they say of what depths christianity has sunk to, and yet it is the gay men in the church who brought this shame on the catholic church. This is exactly what the BSA fears. Scandal, recriminations, law suits, huge financial losses. I ask you this, would the gay community stand behind the BSA if boys were molested, raped or threatened? Would they stand with the BSA in its hour of need? They did not with the Catholic Church. I am gay, I am also Roman Catholic. I am keeping my eagle. I worked hard for it, and I know I started something that continues to this day and it has worth and for this I hold my eagle in great regard. Let others turn theirs in. I just can not say, that was something I did, working for a community, that no longer has any value to me. When gay men are as willing to stand up and judge their own for the damage they have caused over the years, then all eagle scouts will be proud to lend our names to your issues. But not as long as you practice double standards, that, in a scouts eyes, is immoral, and not holding to what is the right thing to do.

  • marc

    @B: far to many hypotheticals. The fact is, Chick-fil-A has a distinct record for living the values it professes. Anyone who applies there knows exactly what kind of company it is. Why do you think they are closed every Sunday? Why are all days important to the family, days off? Why do they give time off for weddings, honeymoons, births? It is nothing but consistant. The respect all, hire all, do not discriminate. All of these charitys and organizations have within them specific foundations that support marriage. Since gay marriage is both new and rare, support for the common use of the term is classic heterosexual marriage. That does not indicate an attack on gays. Nor is it indicative of any cause of gay relationship break downs, or gay marrages ending. No gay family has ever fallen apart because of some religious rights group action. What a charity does in the USA is controlled. What they do overseas is most certainly not under the aegis of any US funding. All Muslim countries, and most neighbors of Muslim countries have death penaltys for being gay, the mention of Uganda is a strawman argument. Stick with what the Cathys support, look at what they actually do, and hold them accountable for those things. If you wish to boycott muslims for their consistant record of death, defilement and barbaric behavior towards gays, do so, but lets not hurls that charge against an evangelical christian. Please.

  • Cam


    The typical trolling post. Telling some made up story that somehow ties gays to molestation etc….

    Yes, we know that that is what the Mormon playbook has instructed you trolls to say. Nice try bigot.

  • Hyhybt

    @marc: Do you truly see no room for distinction between “support for the common use of the term” and the lengths groups such as FRC go to?

  • J

    @marc: You’re a lying anti-gay twat!.

  • JohnnyBoy

    I love when politicians make these strategic statements to satisfy both sides. I’m not falling for it.

  • doodle

    Meanwhile, Scouts Canada officially has it in their rule books that “Scouts Canada is committed to social justice including the promotion of gender and member diversity at all levels of the organization, both in its structures and programs and to the elimination of discrimination on the groups of race, gender, ethnicity, financial ability, sexual orientation, religion, disability or age.” Homosexuals are allowed to join and lead Scouts Australia, The Scout Association of the United Kingdom, the German Scout Federation, and the Swedish Guide and Scout Association.

    It is not in the scouting spirit to prolong bigotry. Many Scout organisations around the world recognise this fact and look down on Boy Scouts of America for their continued intolerance, which is not what a true Scout would express.

  • marc conder

    @J: I am assuming you are gay, yet you find my type of thinking some how anti-gay? I have no need to prove my history to you, however, I suspect you might try ‘consideration, respect, even the archaic belief that we each are allowed to believe as we will, to hold values distinct to ourselves, and not to always follow down paths we do not agree to. Being gay is not a singular path with all men marching to the same beat……should you be gay, then it seems you and I are different. I support our constitution, its bill of rights, and the amendments made to the same to insure rights could not be taken away from American citizens. I am the adult child of a retired diplomat. I had the privilege of living all over the world and still travel extensively now that I am retired. The USA, for all its many contradictions is still among the best places to live on this planet, in my opinion. Even as a gay man. I do hope you find it inside you to recognize the differences in humans, and our right to hold differing opinions, without the need to call them ‘lying anti-gay twats.’

  • marc conder

    @Cam: I am Roman Catholic, not Mormon. Nor am I a bigot that I am aware of. I try to give each individual the respect they deserve as a human being. I do not presuppose that those who do not think or believe as I do are liars, or following some script supposedly made up by others. At my age, when the passions have cooled, and the world begins to make sense in context, you to will find that judging others based on little to no facts is a waste. I certainly hope you never find yourself in a place where you are judged where the out come truly matters.
    My life as a young man was in the 60’s and 70’s, very different from now. The incident I referenced occurred in Vancouver, Washington in 1967, I forget the mans name, but his christian name was Patrick. If you read my comment, I did not claim Patrick was gay, I suspected he may well have been based on my own experiences after the fact as a gay men. Life is never what you expect, nor are gay men monolithic. We each march to a different drum, and I suspect there is room for all….even you and I.

  • J

    @marc conder: You refer to a disproven statistic about child molesters and make up some idiotic story about circle jerks to support your belief that gay men shouldn’t be in the scouts. I dont believe a word of anything you type. I dont like liars. Your beliefs are offensive and not worthy of respect.

  • J

    @J: I am the same person just different computer.

  • J Stratford


    So let’s assume your if your claim is true that 70% of all child molesters are heterosexual (which I think should be greater btw) why are they not banning the main source of molesters – heterosexuals?

    You said:
    “Kinsey, dated, but still our sigle largest study, found that 30 plus percent of all child molesters are homosexual”

  • B

    No. 10 · marc wrote, “@B: far to many hypotheticals. The fact is, Chick-fil-A has a distinct record for living the values it professes. Anyone who applies there knows exactly what kind of company it is. Why do you think they are closed every Sunday?”

    What “hypotheticals?” You are simply lying. I gave cases, citing a Forbes article (and Forbes is a pro-business publication), involving religious discrimination, which in case you don’t know is illegal. It doesn’t matter “what kind of company it is” as it is required to obey U.S. laws regardless of the beliefs of the founders.

    If you mean the comment about how one could get around anti-discrimination laws by first transferring people to a state without such laws, that is a valid risk, and a reason to add sexual orientation to federal civil rights laws.

  • marc conder

    J. Stratford, as much as it is obvious, heterosexuals, (who do make up approximately 70% of all pedophiles) tend to molest young girls. The BSA is for young boys and young men. While the heterosexual pedophiles may well be attracted to jobs focused on young children, they will be drawn to the females, homosexual pedophiles (who make up approximately 30% of the pedophile population) will be attracted to males. Perhaps I was not clear.

  • rare badge

    excelent information.thanks for sharing….

Comments are closed.