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

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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."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Rick Perry Criticizes Madonna for Taking 'a Shot' At the Boy Scouts

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Rick Perry took a shot at Madonna for blaspheming the Boy Scouts at the GLAAD Awards in NYC, the Houston Chronicle reports:

“It’s fascinating that someone would make that kind of gratuitous shot at an organization that has probably done as much to promote young men to the type of values that the vast majority of the people in this country aspire to,” Perry said.

Perry has been an outspoken advocate for the Boy Scouts for years. He authored the book, “On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For ” in 2008, explaining why the organization should adhere to its conservative values. When the Boy Scouts considered changing their policy earlier this year, Perry protested openly.

“I think most people see absolutely no reason to change the position and neither do I,” Perry said at the Texas Scouts’ 64th annual Report to State in February.

Onmyhonor_perryIn his book, Perry also compared homosexuality to alcoholism.

Said Perry, in On My Honor:

..."Even if an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol once it enters his body, he still makes a choice to drink...And, even if someone is attracted to a person of the same sex, he or she still makes a choice to engage in sexual activity with someone of the same gender."

In related news, Scouts for Equality, the organization run by former Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, which has been leading the fight against the Scouts' ban, released numbers yesterday from internal documents obtained by SoE showing that the gay ban is a key factor driving the decades-long decline in scouting.

BsaThe internal Voice of the Scout poll showed that of the 5,800 survey respondents who commented on the policy, 95 percent said the 'reaffirmation of the membership policy negatively impacted their loyalty.' For boy scouts and their parents, that number jumped to 97 percent.

BSA also noted that "conservative estimates assign a 15:1 ratio of negative to positive comments about the existing membership standards policy" that prohibits gay scouts or scoutmasters.

The public relations pressure following the ouster of a lesbian den mother , Jennifer Tyrrell, in the summer of 2012, 'seems to have greatly impacted Detractors, as the membership standards policy was mentioned 42 percent of the time in their comments. This volume is significant enough to warrant further discovery as it may be a key factor in the NPS decline for parents of Boy Scouts / Venturers.'

More information at Scouts for Equality - and here's the polling document.


Boy Scouts to Vote Today on Gay Ban: VIDEO

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The Boy Scouts of America board has been meeting in private since Monday, with little to no word emerging on what their deliberations have been on the ban on gay scouts and leaders, but we should hear something today.

Reuters reports:

Many local chapters have said they were waiting for the board to render a verdict before weighing in, and a coalition of 33 councils that represent about one-fifth of all youth members has asked the board to delay the vote for more study. The Boy Scouts has said that if it lifted the national ban, local chapters would be free to accept members and adult leaders consistent with their beliefs. Nearly 70 percent of Boy Scouts units are chartered to religious organizations.

Gay rights activists have said it would not go far enough to lift the national ban but permit local bans to stand. They delivered more than 1.4 million signatures to the Boy Scouts Monday on petitions seeking an end to the policy. Supporters of the ban including the group "Save our Scouts" plan a prayer vigil Wednesday at Boy Scouts headquarters.

Eagle Scout Zach Wahls speak to Democracy Now! this week about the ban, and his group Scouts for Equality.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Let's Watch Zach Wahls Smack Down a Homophobic Bigot Over the Boy Scouts' Gay Ban: VIDEO

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Ed Whelan is a homophobic parent and President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and wrote an op-ed in the New York Post last week that said this:

Imagine that a group of girls is going on a long camping trip, supervised by adult volunteers who are young men you barely know. Would you let your 15-year-old daughter go?

Nearly every parent, I think, would recognize the folly, even though the men might well be models of good behavior. Why should our common-sense response be any different if the 15-year-old is a boy and the possible, even if not-likely-to-be-acted-on, sexual attraction of the adult supervisors is homosexual rather than heterosexual?

Whelan appeared on a CNN segment on Saturday with Scouts for Equality president Zach Wahls, who laid waste to all of Whelan's bigoted arguments.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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150 Game Changing Wins that Made 2012 the Gayest Year Ever

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A remarkably short four decades ago, the Stonewall Revolt of 1969 opened the flood gates for LGBT rights. The closet, so sturdy for so long, started being swept away in a rush of pride. Still, LGBT Americans lived in a culture of "tolerance," a popular euphemism for enduring.

There have been momentous years since then — both Barney Frank's 1987 coming out and the 2003 Supreme Court ruling overturning anti-sodomy laws come to mind — but when we look back in twenty years time or ten or even five, 2012 will be remembered as quantum leap for LGBT rights in the United States of America. It's the year that equality went from being a far-off dream to becoming an inevitable, immutable and irreversible reality. Even Newt Gingrich agrees!

This was the year of equality, the year the American dream came into sharper focus and the nation crossed from begrudgingly tolerating gays, and sometimes even acknowledging their relationships, to demanding our inclusion in the greater American family. Coming out is for the large part no longer a big deal, which is a big deal in and of itself.

There have never been as many out and proud elected officials; never before has Wall Street embraced us with such force; never before have so many conservatives admitted they need to shift gears on marriage equality and embrace change. This was a year of "never before" and "never again."

AFTER THE JUMP, 150 reasons why 2012 was a year of permanence for LGBT Americans, a year that the next wave of rights began its swoop across the purple mountain majesty and above the fruited plain.

And for more of our 2012 Year in Review, be sure to read "I'm Gay: 50 Most Powerful Comings Outs of 2012" HERE.

Continue reading "150 Game Changing Wins that Made 2012 the Gayest Year Ever" »


Zach Wahls Makes Case For Equality At Obama Event: VIDEO

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If Zach Wahls has never considered a career in politics, he should.

The 21-year old equality activist recently spoke at an Obama fundraising house party in San Francisco. And through his own personal narrative of being raised by two mothers, as well as his innate compassion and powers of persuasion, Wahls broke the 2012 election down into the black-and-white: one side wants freedom for all, while the other side will try their darndest to make 5% of the population look like bullies who want special rights - a direct reference to anti-gay organizer Brian Brown's claim that "power is being exercised by the minority".

Watch Wahls' rousing remarks AFTER THE JUMP.

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