Rep. Palazzo Urges the Boy Scouts to Maintain Ban on Gay Members

Rep. Steve Palazzo (R-MS), best known for voting against Hurricane Sandy relief after pushing for federal aid after Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac for his district, is now championing the opposition to any change in the Boy Scouts of America’s policy on gay members. In an interview last week with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, who has repeatedly linked homosexuality to pedophilia, Palazzo warned that liberals are “using our very culture against us” and that “it’s time for the silent majority once again to step into the fight and protect America from the direction it’s heading.”

Palazzo: Conservative Christians across America have to wake up to reality that the liberal, the very well organized liberal base of this country is very organized and they are using our very culture against us. We have to stand up and have our voices heard. I know it’s difficult because people, you know they get up, they send their kids to school, they go to work, Friday nights they’re at the ball field, Saturday’s they’re in the yard, Sunday’s they’re in church, but if you don’t like the way this country is going and the direction it’s going down then it’s time for the silent majority once again to step into the fight and protect America from the direction it’s heading.

The congressman compared his efforts to maintain the BSA’s ban on gay Scouts to fighting in the Marines and accused President Obama and “his highly organized liberal machine” of having “unfairly attacked” the organization. “These people who are out there protesting and petitioning, I don’t think they care one thing about the Boy Scouts of America” and want the organization to fail, Palazzo said.

Of course, Palazzo endorsed Mitt Romney, who also urged the BSA to lift its ban on gay members.

Palazzo: I guess the Marine in me is you know when we hear gun fire we don’t run from it we run towards it, we want to help people whether they’re our fellow Marines or whether someone’s been innocently in the crossfire. That’s one of the reasons I’ve engaged in this conversation, I’m just not wired to stand by and watch an organization that wasn’t doing anything be unfairly attacked by Obama, which I’m pretty safe to say he was probably never a Scout, and his highly organized liberal machine. You made an example of Canada; Canada did something like this and within five years fifty percent of the membership has declined. These people who are out there protesting and petitioning, I don’t think they care one thing about the Boy Scouts of America and in fact I think they would like to see the organization probably go the way of a lot of other faith and family based organizations have gone in the past ten years.

Perkins: What prompted you to weigh into this? I will say I’ve actually talked to a few members, actually some more on the Senate side, encouraging them to weigh in and there is a little reluctance on some. So what prompted you to step in?

Palazzo: You know I’ve jumped out of C-130s before, I jumped out of a few Hueys; maybe I’m just not afraid of weighing in on things that are extremely important to me. That’s the way I’m wired as a parent of three young children, as a former Boy Scout, Cub Scout, whose actually benefited from the values and principles this organization espouses to just say listen I’m tired of watching organizations be unfairly attacked.

In a letter to the BSA board [PDF], Palazzo attacked gay rights advocates who he said “only seek to impose their liberal agenda with reckless disregard of the impact that this significant membership policy change would have on our children.”

I urge the Boy Scouts of America to refuse to give in to peer-pressure from politicians and media outlets by allowing openly gay members and adults as part of the organization. They only seek to impose their liberal agenda with reckless disregard of the impact that this significant membership policy change would have on our children. They fail to recognize that such a significant change to membership policies would compromise the overall message of the Boy Scouts, undermine its spiritual principles, and create conflicting membership policies among local chapters.

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