Boy Scouts | Don Lemon | News | Zach Wahls

Zach Wahls Destroys Anti-Gay Activist in Boy Scout Debate on CNN: VIDEO


CNN's Don Lemon covered the Boy Scouts' gay ban in a segment Sunday in which two Eagle Scouts appeared: Scouts for Equality's Zach Wahls and John Stemberger, an anti-gay activist with the Florida Family Policy Council who started an organization for homophobes opposed to gays in the BSA called On My Honor.

Stemberger said that opening the Boys Scouts to gay people will destroy it and there is not way that the Catholics, the LDS, or the Baptists will allow it. He also tried to argue that the Boy Scouts are actually fine with gays in their organization, and there's not a "witch hunt" against those that are in it because they are "appropriate, discreet, and not loud and proud."

Wahls, when given his opportunity, calmly destroyed him:

"When people try to say that this is about, you know, 'open' or 'avowed' homosexuality, it's really just a code word for the problem they have with gay people. Being an 'open gay person' is not a whole lot different from being a closeted gay person except for the fact that you have somebody trying to lie and violate the very first part of the Scout law which is that a Scout is trustworthy."


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  1. This segment really illustrates how their crappy compromise does nothing more than basically piss both sides off, as compromising on a civil rights issue often does.

    Posted by: Clarknt67 | Apr 22, 2013 7:22:49 PM

  2. Zach says "'open' or AVOWED homosexuality," not "'open' or about homosexuality"

    Posted by: Jeff Kurtti | Apr 22, 2013 7:23:26 PM

  3. I'm glad his mother's were "loving, caring and wise."

    Posted by: GB | Apr 22, 2013 7:29:21 PM


    A--Catholic, morhole, baptist, and other groups are afraid that their "possibly Gay" sons will see other boys who are Gay and not choose the closet.
    B--Those same groups are deathly afraid of "condoning a sin", because it might lead their boys to some other kinds of sin.
    C--The catholics, and especially, the morholes, REQUIRE heterosexual marriage, or celibacy, for salvation.

    Posted by: Bob | Apr 22, 2013 7:38:18 PM

  5. Oh... my... god....
    John Stemberger, the man on the left whose sexual fetish for dress-up is on full awkward display here, is such a disturbing closet case. I mean, seriously. It's people like him who are so uncomfortable with their own sexuality that we need to fear being around children. Just look at the Catholic Church. Those who feel some righteous need to repress their sexuality are always found expressing it in f'ed up ways. Count down to sex scandal in 5, 4, 3, 2....

    An out-and-proud, honest gay man is someone any kid can look up to. Someone who knows who they are and has no secrets or shame like Miss Thang in full her beige get-up and patches. (Honey, PLEASE!) I swear, as soon as he started talking I thought he was FOR gay rights, because, well, HELLO. Nope. Turns out he's another self-loathing bigot living in the 1950s. What a disgrace.

    If Scouting is about integrity, he clearly needs to take lessons from Zach.

    Zach, we adore you. Keep fighting for what's right. And thanks for putting self-loathing bigots like this on blast.

    Posted by: Marc | Apr 22, 2013 7:45:08 PM

  6. John Stemberger relies 100% completely on fear mongering. The only tiny factual thing he stated in his entire argument are that Southern Baptists would leave the BSA if gay members are permitted to join. None of the other Christian denominations have made a clear cut statement.

    Zach Wahls made dirt out of this guy.

    Posted by: friedpikmin | Apr 22, 2013 7:45:57 PM

  7. So instead of being witch-hunted from day one, you're a "person of interest" until your 18th birthday whereupon you're treated like a convicted criminal.

    That's progress.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Apr 22, 2013 8:04:09 PM

  8. If the Catholic Church withdraws support, sounds fine to me. I mean, they ARE the world's largest pedophile organization. And Scouting itself was founded by a pedophile.

    Posted by: Tessie Tura | Apr 22, 2013 8:08:29 PM

  9. It's always religion. The LDS, the Catholics and Baptists. No one is stopping them from forming their own, hateful little groups. Is the Boy Scouts a religious group? Crickets.

    Posted by: Geoff | Apr 22, 2013 8:17:28 PM

  10. "honesty" and "trustworthiness" are powerfully magic words. They blow this guy and his ilk away as if Hermione Granger had shouted "Bombarda!"

    Posted by: woodroad34d | Apr 22, 2013 8:30:46 PM

  11. Call it whatever you want, treat it however you want, induce new rules and regulations as much as you want, JUST STOP USING TAX PAYERS' DOLLARS for anything that remotely goes against human rights, civil rights, is not all inclusive, and most importantly, is against AMERICAN RIGHTS.

    These "organizations" would not survive if not for our tax dollars. Each and every one of us should pressure our state representatives to review decades of contributions and tax cuts improperly and freely dished to organizations that do not respect our rights as Americans.

    We can start our own Boy Scouts, homophobia-free, and more importantly, pedophile-free. And because it is all-inclusive, it would rightly deserve all those freely served tax cuts and contributions.

    We have to find ways to stop our states from giving to hate-driven organizations. Whether they be the Catholic Church, LDS, Boy Scout, or whatever sh!t-filled banner they try to hide under. Something must be done, for it has reached ridiculously outrageous levels of tax-payer exploitation.

    Posted by: Maguitac | Apr 22, 2013 8:44:36 PM

  12. Oh, that Zach; he just nails it. I just have to laugh everytime he makes a point and then refers to his two moms...the job they have done as mothers is simply unassailable...Go, Zach!

    Posted by: Kile Ozier | Apr 22, 2013 8:50:46 PM

  13. Thank you Don Lemon for giving Zach the last word! Love you, Don!

    Zach Wahls for President of the World!

    Posted by: AriesMatt | Apr 22, 2013 9:07:11 PM

  14. Am I just biased or do we have the brains & the good looks on our side? I'm so proud of these two men...and to be part of the same "club" they belong to. Can you imagine being born ignorant (DNA, ya know!) ...this guy Stemberger never had a chance. I must remember to thank someone when I get there.

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Apr 22, 2013 9:12:52 PM

  15. I know some of the bitter, middle-aged queens around here won't like this, but Tank has to keep it real! Sure, Zach is a great guy and a worthy ally and he has as great story, but I think the main reason he gets so much positive press all the time here is because y'all want to bang the guy! I wonder how often Zach would be showered with accolades if he weren't so cute. Just trying to stay real, bitches!

    Posted by: TANK | Apr 22, 2013 9:15:56 PM

  16. Oh, Tank, Tank, Tank. Sorry, but I at least have no desire to schtup Zach Wahls, his heterosexuality aside. He just doesn't push my buttons that way, yet I remain impressed by his intelligence, how well-spoken he is, and the leadership he has taken on this issue.

    You're barking up the wrong tree this time, bub.

    Just keepin' it real. ;-)

    Posted by: Caliban | Apr 22, 2013 9:27:02 PM

  17. I had to laugh at the hater's argument. Can't have open gays in scouting leadership because the cathlick church won't allow it...

    Cuz the cathlick church wants to keep all those ripe tender juicy young boys all to themselves?

    There's way more pedophiles in the cathlick church than in the Castro, Fire Island, and Christopher Street combined... And you could probably throw every other gay neighborhood in the world in there and still have an accurate statement.

    Posted by: MikeInSanJose | Apr 22, 2013 9:50:43 PM

  18. John is right. If the BSA allows homosexuality in its ranks, they can kiss funding from the Catholic, Mormon and Baptist churches goodbye...and these are the most significant financial support groups the BSA has. None of the liberal kooks who are screaming to allow homosexuals in are going to pick up the slack if they withdraw, and the gay community knows this.

    This isn't about "inclusiveness", this is about gays -- as usual -- vindictively wanting to interject themselves somewhere they aren't wanted and have been told they can't be, simply because they know that there mere presence would destroy the organization.

    So go ahead and let gays in, and when the BSA crumbles as a result, we'll know who to blame.

    Posted by: EnRanc | Apr 22, 2013 10:15:13 PM

  19. There are already gays IN the Boy Scouts, EnRanc you stupid f*ckwit. They started as Cub Scouts just like every other kid did. But as with the kid in CA who fulfilled all the requirements for his Eagle award then was denied it because he's gay, they are kicked OUT of the BSA not for anything they've done, but for who they ARE.

    So why don't you do us all a favor and shove a jumbo Swiss Army knife with all its blades extended straight up your @ss, hmmm? Thanks ever so.

    Posted by: Caliban | Apr 22, 2013 10:28:54 PM

  20. I was in an actual Christian scouts called the Cadets. There was no question about it's aims.

    If that's what Christian backers want to manipulate scouts into a fully religious organization, then they need to make their own or be completely open about their evangelistic goals. If that is the case then the US government needs to drop it's charter and remove the instant promotion for participation in it.

    Posted by: chris255 | Apr 22, 2013 10:37:54 PM

  21. Honestly the bigoted idiot Stemberger is a little bit right (a little bit) regarding the fact there will be some reduction of members in the Scouts if the ban is repealed in any form. Nearly 2/3's of respondents in the poll the BSA commissioned want the ban kept in it's entirety and I'm sure many more approve of the parental ban.

    That's not a reason to keep the ban in place, though. No, it won't completely decimate the Scouts, it won't destroy the organization, and, obviously, no, this isn't about agendas. This is about allowing people to be who they are and not promoting an agenda of shame and intolerance. There are gay kids in the Scouts and will be, regardless of what happens regarding the anti-gay scout ban being outlawed or remaining in place. And none of them are in the Scouts with the intent to make their orientation an issue, same with gay parents and volunteers. The only person pushing agendas in that video above is John Stemberger.

    Zach is a great public speaker, strong but respectful. Don is a great moderator. Great job, Zach!

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 22, 2013 10:38:48 PM

  22. Well, you know what...if they're already IN scouts, then they should shut the hell up and do what's required of them as scouts and not run off at the mouth about being homosexual. The kid who couldn't get his Eagle badge would have gotten it had he not blabbed about being gay. If you're going to play the "out" activist role, then accept any consequences that come with it. If you're just wanting to be part of the organization, then keep your rainbow flags and propaganda at home.

    Posted by: EnRanc | Apr 22, 2013 10:40:46 PM

  23. I'm with Marc,except that I knew what Zach looked like, so I was confused why they had TWO gay rights activists on.

    I can absolutely see this as a Saturday Night Live sketch. If someone knows anyone at SNL, please forward that idea, cause this is so tragic, it's comedy.

    Posted by: Devin | Apr 22, 2013 10:41:41 PM

  24. So EnRanc, what you're basically saying is that gay Scouts should "LIE and violate the very first part of the Scout law which is that a Scout is trustworthy." Did you even WATCH this news piece?

    These are high school age kids, who joined the organization probably in elementary school, like I did. They're supposed to keep their entire lives under wraps to satisfy the BSA because it claims to be a "religious organization," even though it serves Mormons, Baptists, and Catholics among many other denominations, which don't have a SINGLE f*cking thing in common! Episcopalians have have GAY clergy so what about THEIR religious values, or don't they count? Huh?

    Or maybe every Scout should venerate Mary or believe in Moroni? No, because the claim that the BSA is a religious organization with one set of beliefs is PURE horsesh*t!

    Posted by: Caliban | Apr 22, 2013 10:57:07 PM

  25. Contrary to EnRanc's spurious prediction, I say that if the BSA becomes wholly gay inclusive, it'll do BETTER than it's doing now. The bigot kids'll go away to their hometown KKK kiddie rallies, and the increasingly gay supportive corporate America will donate more than ever and make up for whatever support the Catholics, Mormons, and Baptists withdraw.

    Posted by: Sean in Dallas | Apr 22, 2013 11:07:12 PM

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