Books | Boy Scouts | Discrimination | News | Rick Perry | Texas

Rick Perry: If Homosexuality Isn't About Sex, Call It Something Else

In the New York Times magazine on Sunday, Deborah Solomon interviewed Texas Governor Rick Perry, whose crusade in defense of the Boy Scouts of America is being supplemented by royalties from his new book On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For. The Boy Scouts, of course have been under fire for their discriminatory policies against gays. Most recently, they were evicted from a Philadelphia building they had leased for nearly 80 years because of the city's anti-discrimination ordinance.

PerryPerry says homosexuality is clearly just about sex, and there's no place for sex in the Boy Scouts.

SOLOMON: Let’s talk about your new book, 'On My Honor,' which draws on your experience as an Eagle Scout and champions the values of the Boy Scouts of America, to whom you are donating your royalties.

PERRY: Yes, to their legal-defense fund.

SOLOMON: Which has been fighting the A.C.L.U., to keep gays out of the scouts. Why do you see that as a worthy cause?

PERRY: I am pretty clear about this one. Scouting ought to be about building character, not about sex. Period. Precious few parents enroll their boys in the Scouts to get a crash course in sexual orientation.

SOLOMON: Why do you think a homosexual would be more likely to bring the subject of sex into a conversation than a heterosexual?

PERRY: Well, the ban in scouting applies to scout leaders. When you have a clearly open homosexual scout leader, the scouts are going to talk about it. And they’re not there to learn about that. They’re there to learn about what it means to be loyal and trustworthy and thrifty.

SOLOMON: But don’t you think that homosexuals might also be interested in being loyal and thrifty?

PERRY: The argument that gets made is that homosexuality is about sex. Do you agree?


PERRY: Well, then why don’t they call it something else?

Perry recently told the AP: "Most Americans have a live-and-let-live view about homosexuality. Scouting's leaders have the same tolerant view, but they do not believe that someone whose personal agenda is to make an open issue of his sexual orientation should be a Scout leader. Scouting is not about sex, but about building character ... The Boy Scouts is not the proper intersection for a debate over sexual preference."

Troop Leader [nyt]
Texas Gov. Defends Boy Scouts in Book [ap]

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  1. I suppose then that the argument follows that if heterosexuality isn't about sex, they should call it something else, too?

    Posted by: Bryant | Feb 25, 2008 12:20:41 PM

  2. "Why don't they call it something else?" We do. Gay. I know Rich Perry is dumb, but I doubt if he's that dumb, although the people who vote for him because of his "pro-family" positions certainly are.

    He is nothing more than a Bush/Rove tool. He was a maleable, useful fool who could hold the Governor's mansion in Austin when Dubya became President. Too bad he case his lot with Rudy. He's over now.

    Posted by: sam | Feb 25, 2008 12:25:40 PM

  3. "Scouting ought to be about building character, not about sex." Gee, I wish Gov. Goodhair had been around to tell that to the 18 year old eagle scout who molested me when I was a 12 year old tenderfoot.

    Posted by: Smartypants | Feb 25, 2008 12:34:36 PM

  4. As an Eagle Scout, I can say that I wholeheartedly agree with Governor Perry that Scouting should not be about introducing boys to sex...which is why they should forget about whether a Scout Master is homosexual or heterosexual and instead focus their efforts on expelling the (often married) pedophiles from their ranks.

    Furthermore, Scout Law says that a Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. I'd say that, in denying homosexuals the opportunity to serve as Scout Masters, the Boy Scouts of America as an organization are breaking Scout Law by failing to be brave, kind, helpful and trustworthy.

    Having said all that, I hope the Boy Scouts of America continue to win court rulings saying that they are a private organization and therefore have the right to exclude anyone they wish. After all, I'd hate to have to invite one of these bigots into my bridge club.

    Posted by: peterparker | Feb 25, 2008 12:35:54 PM

  5. I had heard from good sources that Perry was a closet why the smug attitude over scouting.

    Posted by: dekerivers | Feb 25, 2008 12:37:27 PM

  6. Because he's a clsoet case, well DUH!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Feb 25, 2008 12:41:26 PM

  7. WAS a closet case? or IS?

    The Boy Scouts just think their tenuous membership will dry up if parents become aware of gays in the ranks (think religious objections and fears over pedophiles), so they try to present themselves as entirely str8. Were it not for the Mormons, the Boy Scouts would be a tiny organization. They also make a clear distinction between being trustworthy and trusting, which they aren't.

    Posted by: anon | Feb 25, 2008 12:51:27 PM

  8. A homosexual is no more promoting sex by being gay than a heterosexual is promoting sex by being straight. This guy is a moron.

    Posted by: Patrick | Feb 25, 2008 12:52:12 PM

  9. okay, i hate to be the nerd of the group here, and being from texas, i certainly hate to make the poor governor look like an uneducated moron, but the word "sex" in homosexuality and heterosexuality isn't referring to HAVING sex (i.e. copulation, fucking, doing the horizontal Lambada)... it's referring to GENDER.

    in fact, if you look up "sex" in any online thesaurus, the first words that come up will be gender-related words and references.

    the word "homosexual" means 'same-gender'.

    so, i'm not quite sure WHAT Perry is talking about... and i'm not sure he understands what he's saying (as he really is a closet case). but the above statement is rather shameful from an EDUCATION standpoint... as well as a LGBT rights standpoint.

    plus... we do have a word we normally use... it's called "gay" (or "fabulous"... depending on how you dress).

    Posted by: james p. | Feb 25, 2008 12:54:47 PM

  10. There has been rumors flying around Austin about Mr. Perry's proclivities for years. You aren't the first one to suggest it, David.

    See, Republicans know that homosexuality should be kept deep in the closet because it's often the case that they do it themselves. And of course, everyone on the planet must behave exactly like they do because the GOP is the "Party of God" (move over, Hezbollah).

    The Larry Craig types are anti-gay because they want every gay man to follow the conservative "gameplan" for uptight white males. Get married to a woman, pump out a few kids for the Fatherland, and go troll for policemen in the airport restroom.

    Posted by: John | Feb 25, 2008 12:56:41 PM

  11. And here I thought Texas had lost it's village idiot... amazing.

    Posted by: Darren | Feb 25, 2008 1:05:38 PM

  12. First, it seems the lady doth protest too much. As others have stated, if homosexuality is "about sex" then what is heterosexuality?

    Second, in a state that has brought us Bush and now Perry, and a state that, until recently, has sodomy laws (which Bush even prosecuted in some cases), why is the gay population BOOMING in Texas? Personally, I would rather not live and give my tax money to a state that views me (even more so than our federal government) as less than a human being. I also do not agree with people who state that we shouldn't base our living situation on these circumstance as has been a common rebuttal to said question. I do not agree with populating a state that gives these individuals power and money.

    Posted by: Cory | Feb 25, 2008 1:06:14 PM

  13. "The Boy Scouts is not the proper intersection for a debate over sexual preference."

    Nice job creating one by banning gays then, idiot.

    Posted by: Wes | Feb 25, 2008 1:09:08 PM

  14. Texas was my home state and a source of pride...but I left there over 20 years ago when Houston had a progressive mayor in Kathy Whitmire and the governor was to be Ann Richards... then came the Bush years and it went to hell in a handbasket. I always wanted to move back but my state just gets more and more Religious Right conservative. Maybe someday they will come out of their collective coma.

    Posted by: Pugzz | Feb 25, 2008 1:23:14 PM

  15. What a marooooone!

    Posted by: FernLaPlante | Feb 25, 2008 1:28:15 PM

  16. And to think this idiot wants to run for President...

    Posted by: Bojo | Feb 25, 2008 1:39:44 PM

  17. And to think this idiot wants to run for President...

    Posted by: Bojo | Feb 25, 2008 1:40:32 PM

  18. What an embarrassment... Surely, there are more important issues for our Governor to be focused on.

    Posted by: Rob | Feb 25, 2008 1:44:58 PM

  19. Yeah, and if heterosexuality isn't about sex, that call that something else too! Asswipe!

    Posted by: Jack | Feb 25, 2008 1:45:54 PM

  20. If those in the BSA actually went back to their roots and read 'Scouting for Boys' they would see that B-P was in favour of people from all races, creeds, backgrounds and genders to become scouts. The BSA are clearly just a homophobic organisation and there is nothing in the true spirit of Scouting that backs up their aversion to gays.

    Posted by: UK Gay Scout | Feb 25, 2008 1:47:36 PM

  21. PeterParker, unless you are holding your bridge club in a public place or with the benefit of substantial public subsidies (like the Boy Scouts have done for decades), then you have nothing to worry about. I agree that the Boy Scouts should be considered a private club if that is their wish, but I also agree that they should receive absolutely zero accommodation from the government if they insist on being exclusive.

    Posted by: Adam | Feb 25, 2008 2:28:32 PM

  22. And he's supposed to be a state governor, with those kind of statements. Shame!
    Homosexuality is not just about sex, it's a state of mind, just like heterosexuality.

    Posted by: Taylor | Feb 25, 2008 2:33:20 PM

  23. And of course, one of the greater ironies of this so-called debate is that the founder of scouting, Lord Baden-Powell, was at the very least a repressed homosexual himself. He spent his life in all male environments and when he married, at the ripe old age of 55, he made his much younger wife cut her hair short and bind her breasts. There's an interesting article that covers this and speculates about his lifelong close friendship with another man at,2.html

    Posted by: Smartypants | Feb 25, 2008 2:36:26 PM

  24. The Boy Scouts is where I had my first sexual experience with a boy, so he needs to get cracking with his Inquisition to rid the scouts of all the hormonal teenagers having sex with each other!!
    Ennis and Jack didn't teach me anything about pitching tent!

    Posted by: DKNATL | Feb 25, 2008 2:48:54 PM

  25. Religions often make sex a dirty thing. As if the further we distance ourselves from sex, the more accepting "Gods" will be. Ignorant people are tricked into being used for political agendas.

    Forget about gods - if it's not about sex, then gods shouldn't take the form of a man or a woman. Just be a rock or mountain! If it's not about sex then there shouldn't be female or male on earth. If it's not about sex but LOVE, what doea Perry care if a man/woman loves another of his/her own kind?

    And without sex, Perry would have been crushed and dumped in a tampon.


    Posted by: Alfred | Feb 25, 2008 3:35:01 PM

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