Eagle Scout Renounces Award Over BSA Policy

News that the Boy Scouts of America upheld their policy prohibiting homosexuals to serve as scout masters has prompted protest from supporters of what some deem a matter of gay rights.  This protest should be expected given the attention same-sex marriage brings to the fore.  But one Eagle Scout has decided to show his protest by renouncing the BSA and returning his Eagle Scout award, the highest level a Boy Scout can achieve.

From NYTimes.com

My adolescent experience as a Boy Scout was an indispensable and joyous journey, and I shall always treasure it. Camping every summer taught me skills — including interpersonal understanding of diverse and often feisty individuals — that were foundational.

Therefore, it is painful yet necessary for me to renounce my Eagle Scout award and my membership in the Scouts and its affiliated Order of the Arrow. I can no longer be an “alumnus” of a group that has reaffirmed its bigotry.

Instead of speaking, as I often have, of my wonderful years in the organization, I shall tell all who listen that the Boy Scouts of America represents the worst in human values: discrimination, stereotyping and pandering to those who preach the same.

TERRY M. PERLIN New York, July 18, 2012

To me this is surprising — not that Perlin objects to the policy.  But that he would renounce his award.  The BSA’s announcement only served to uphold a policy which has been in place for decades.  One which was in place throughout Perlin’s scouting career as he worked toward Eagle Scout.  My question is: where was this sense of righteous indignation during the years he spent in the Scouts?  Now that the social litmus test is whether you embrace and extol homosexuality is when you chose to take a stand?  To me it just smacks of a grab for attention.  ‘Look at me! Look at how much I support your cause!’  I’d be interested to know whether Perlin followed through with his abdication of Eagle Scout, or whether this was mere public lip-service.

It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who criticize those who won’t succumb to homosexual activist.  They seem surprised and dumbfounded that society doesn’t buckle to their demands.  Just off the top of my head I can think of at least two reasons the BSA may wish to exclude openly gay men as scout masters.  The Boy Scouts often go on camping expeditions, I did when I was a Scout.  These included having to change clothes in the same room as or in the vicinity of others, and locker room style showers.  It was very close quarters.  The prohibition is simple to grasp: for the same reason men shouldn’t be Girl Scout leaders, gay men shouldn’t be Boy Scout leaders.

Some are speculating that the BSA is making a blanket statement about gay men: that they are prone to molesting young boys.  However, I don’t think the BSA is taking this position.  In the BSA’s infancy, I would agree the policy reflected the moral framework of its founders.  They are doing what they can to ensure the safest environment for the boys in their charge.  Today, on the other hand, I’m inclined to believe the organization is protecting itself from an increasingly litigious society.

Regardless of the reasoning behind the Scouts policy excluding gay males from serving as scout masters, this is not a new policy.  The only thing new is feigning outrage as though it were a secret.


  1. Similarly, my recent post shows that some Atheist would renounce heaven in post to their being a God.

    I am a former Eagle Scout with palms and God & Country to boot! I agree that the BSA should be able to have whatever policy of exclusion they want, no matter how much I disagree with them. I wasn’t aware of the issue when I was a kid and won’t renounce my awards. But I think it is good for those who do object to use it to make their voice heard.

    Some folks want Joe Paterno’s statue removed from Penn State campus. I agree with them, but my wife (a Penn State grad) disagrees. Sometimes, forsaking what we once valued is important. But it is a hard choice, I understand.

    • My confusion with this is that this has always been the policy. It was when Perlin joined, it was when he was a cub scout, boy scout, and eagle scout. what’s has changed other than the political atmosphere surrounding this issue?

      In other words, why renounce it after the policy upholding and not last year, or last month?

  2. Maybe because it takes time to realize something, to realize how you want to act on it or maybe the Spirit moved him. How can we explain the workings of the heart?

  3. I’d bet it was just to make a political statement and get media coverage. Don’t tell me that he just NOW thought about the issue. Just wants attention.

  4. Marshall Art says:

    It is somewhat similar to the nonsense regarding “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality.” Why would He if there was no problem with rampant homosexuality at the time? Everyone understood the issue.

    In the same way, there would be no reason to question a policy that was pretty much taken for granted until now. Thus, it is possible the issue wasn’t of conscious concern.

    However, as I recall the pledge, it had to do with doing one’s duty to God as well as country. That the reference was to the Judeo-Christian notion of God would imply one has some working knowledge that would guide how one goes about doing one’s duty to Him. To then refer to doing one’s duty as bigotry and discrimination (except where discriminating against bad behavior is practical, logical and responsible) is irrational.

  5. Perhaps Perlin came to the conclusion that he would no longer tolerate intolerance? /:0)-

  6. Is there a greater incidence of pedophiles amongst homosexual adults than there are among priests, football coaches or heterosexuals in general? Sorry, just not up on the statistics. This seems like an easy math question.

  7. From stats I have read many times, there is indeed a higher percentage of pedophiles among homosexuals. The claim that there are more heterosexual pedophiles is true, considering that they comprise 98% of the population, but the percentage of pedophiles among homosexuals is exponentially higher, demonstrating a clear cause and effect.

    Besides which, priests who have sex with boys are homosexuals, and football coaches who have sex with boys are homosexual.

  8. BTW: I coach a team of all girls: 5th graders. I am a heterosexual man who is attracted to women. The equivalent to which you allude, never crosses my mind. Is there something wrong with me?

    • Sabio

      Boyscouts encompasses more than just little kids. Scouts ranges from younger than 5th graders up to high school.

      Keep in mind also that many homosexual men have reported sexual experiences with men when they were young.

      The concern isnt just for the little ones, but also the older ones.

  9. So, I would agree, if the stats are significantly higher, than appropriate precautions need to be made. Math speaks for itself — I am a conservative on those issues.

    But, I’d love to see the study and find out who did it, etc …

    • Here’s an article which discusses homosexuals and pedophilia:

      Here is a paragraph from that article, which links to the origin of the data:
      A report from the Journal of Sex Research, noted that homosexual pedophiles commit about one-third of the total number of child sex offenses, even though they are outnumbered by heterosexuals over 20 to one. Less than 3 percent of the population commits one-third of the offenses against children! In The Gay Report, homosexual researchers report data showing that better than 7 out of 10 homosexuals surveyed had at some time had sex with minors of 16 to 19.

  10. @ Glenn:
    Interesting: Your link is to a Christian Gay Movement Watch. They quote an article without a link. Then I find this source which debates the issues and claims conservatives are misreporting science. I don’t have time to do the reading, but they seem to doubt both your conclusion and what sources you run to for support.


    @ John Barron,
    I know a little of scouts — having been a highly decorated Eagle Scout (as mentioned above), a run at Senior Patrol Leader.
    Also did a few years with my son in scouts where he was elected the boy in our troop that best exemplifies the scouting spirit. — a friend came up to me after the big award ceremony for my boy and say, “Wouldn’t they get a kick if they knew they had elected an immoral atheist.” Later my son dropped out because he did not like all the god and country stuff, not to mention all the weird kids that were just dropped off at scouting as babysitters and hope to find a male figure in the kid’s life.

    Anyway, I think child abuse is serious. I am we have a pervert child molester in our neighborhood. He shows up at all school and church functions in the area as a self-designated greater and sings the Star Spangle Banner at all functions. He lives alone with his father and lives 3 housed down from us. Being in medicine, I know trouble when I see it. But God, Country and Sports are great camouflage for these sorts of folks. Perhaps Boy Scouts could be too, but keep out declared homosexuals probably is not the answer, I’d guess. But I am guessing.

    • Well, like I said above, the initial policy was likely a moral stand, but this is likely a cya

    • Sabio,
      That looks like a very biased site. They refuse to call men on boy sex “homosexuality” – which is very stupid as well as biased. If a man is sexually attracted to boys and has sexual relations of any kind with boys, that by definition is homosexuality. They want to claim it is something else, pretend it isn’t homosexual pedophilia.

  11. @ John,
    Who was your last comment addressed to?

  12. Well then, it is too terse and I don’t get what you are referring to or if you imagine it somehow addresses my discussion with Glenn.

  13. John, your conversation skills never cease to amaze me.

    • Sabio

      If you follow the conversation back you’ll see the discussion turn towards whether or not gay men are more prone to sexually abuse minors. You’ll also note that since you were the immediately prior comment to my terse response it should have been taken for granted that I was addressing you and that my comment was a mere notation to your experiences and the issue of whether homosexuality is immoral or not and if it played a role in the BSA’s policy decision.

      Your critical thinking skills never cease to amaze me.

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