GOP lawmakers sign letter opposing BSA policy change; prayer rally set

Posted on 05 Feb 2013 at 10:24am

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Dozens of state representatives, senators and other elected officials have come out against the Boy Scouts of America’s proposal to remove its national gay ban.

Anti-gay group Texas Values published a letter signed by more than 30 Republican elected officials across the state — from Ag Commissioner Todd Staples to Collin County Judge Keith Self — that urges the organization “to stick with their decades of support for family values and moral principles.”

“Scouts begin each meeting with an Oath, ‘to do my duty, to God and my country, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight,’” the letter reads in part. “By caving in to pressure from the social left, the national leadership would violate each of those principles.”

Texas Values has planned a “Save Our Scouts” prayer vigil and rally at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the BSA’s national headquarters in Irving.

The group is encouraging citizens from “every walk of life who cares about the moral fabric of our nation and all that the Boy Scouts of America has stood for since 1910” to attend the rally.

The National Executive Board is expected to vote on the proposed change Wednesday.

BSA has been inundated with phone calls and emails from people voicing their opinion on lifting the ban since last week. Spokesman Deron Smith declined to give the number of calls or emails, but said the BSA was receiving feedback, not taking a poll.

Read the full Texas Values letter, as well as the list of signers, below.

As state elected officials, we strongly encourage the Boy Scouts of America to stick with their decades of support for family values and moral principles. Capitulating to the liberal social agenda not only undermines the very principles of scouting, but sets the stage for the erosion of an organization that has defined the American experience for generations of young men.

Scouts begin each meeting with an Oath, “to do my duty, to God and my country, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” By caving in to pressure from the social left, the national leadership would violate each of those principles.

Worse still, the contemplated national policy would throw to the wolves chartering organizations and scout troops that choose to stick with scouting’s historic and legally protected policy. Left to defend themselves from legal attacks, we fear many churches and other entities will choose to simply abandon scouting altogether – it will be the safer course, and one hastening the organization’s eventual collapse.

Rest assured that while adopting this ill-considered and wrongly devised policy might earn temporary kudos, you can never do enough to appease those who want to see the scouts robbed of their moral authority.

We urge you to be morally and physically strong. We urge you to protect all that scouting has been, and all that it can remain.

Letter Signers:

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson

State Senator Ken Paxton (R-McKinney)

State Senator Kelly Hancock (R-Fort Worth)

State Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury)

State Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston)

State Senator Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood)

State Representative Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake)

State Representative Pat Fallon (R-Frisco)

State Representative Scott Sanford (R-McKinney)

State Representative Jeff Leach (R-Plano)

State Representative Matt Krause (R-Ft. Worth)

State Representative Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton)

State Representative Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands)

State Representative Scott Turner (R-Frisco)

State Representative Phil King (R-Weatherford)

State Representative Jodie Laubenberg (R-Parker)

State Representative Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound)

State Representative Van Taylor (R-Plano)

State Representative Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth)

State Representative Bill Zedler (R-Arlington)

State Representative Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola)

State Representative Drew Springer (R-Muenster)

State Representative Dan Flynn (R-Canton)

State Representative Cecil Bell Jr. (R-Magnolia)

State Representative Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler)

State Representative James White (R-Woodville)

State Representative Rob Orr (R-Burleson)

State Representative James Frank (R-Wichita Falls)

State Representative Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston)

State Representative David Simpson (R-Longview)

State Representative Greg Bonnen (R-Friendswood)

State Representative Rick Miller (R-Sugar Land)

State Board of Education Member Ken Mercer (R-San Antonio)

State Board of Education Member David Bradley (R-Beaumont)

Collin Country Commissioner Pct 3 Chris Hill (BSA Circle Ten Lone Star District Chairman)

Collin County Judge Keith Self

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