Boy Scouts and Chick-Fil-A oppose gays

Today's news reports that the Boy Scouts and the chicken sandwich purveyor Chick-Fil-A confirm their anti-gay stances.

From Reuters:

The Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday said the organization would continue to deny gay people membership, saying that the policy "is in the best interest of Scouting."

The decision is the result of a two-year evaluation by the organization prompted by repeated criticism, as well as support, for the policy, the organization said in a statement.

"The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers, and at the appropriate time and in the right setting," said Bob Mazzuca, chief scout executive of Boy Scouts of America.

Dan Cathy, president of Chick-Fil-A, as reported in On Top Magazine, has conceded that his company is opposed to gay marriage. In an interview with the Christian publication the Baptist Press,

Cathy answered, “Well, guilty as charged,” when asked about his company's record of supporting groups opposed to marriage equality.
“We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit,” Cathy said. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. … We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that.”

Last year, as the company's links to anti-gay groups came under increased scrutiny, Cathy announced that his company would no longer “champion any political agendas on marriage and family” and claimed that Chick-Fil-A has “no agenda against anyone.”

According to Equality Matters, Chick-Fil-A donated $3 million to groups opposed to gay rights, including the Family Research Council (FRC) and Exodus International, between 2003 and 2009. In 2010, the company gave more than $1.9 million to such groups, more than any other year for which public records are available.

Comments (17)

As long as the LDS Church continues to be the largest individual sponsor of the Boy Scouts, because it is the official church program for LDS young men, this policy will never change. Mormons are embedded in the leadership of the BSA.

Bro David

Boycott!

JC Fisher

I’m not surprised by the Boy Scouts. I was hoping that Chick-fil-A was not so institutionally homophobic, however. I like their food, and they do a lot more for families than does, say, McDonald’s. But I don’t want to patronize an organization that supports the Family Research Council and Exodus.

As a vegetarian, I can't really comment on Chick-fil-A's food. But one of my friends loves it, and has long promised that if he ever becomes rich he will start a foundation where people can mail in their Chick-fil-A receipts and he will donate twice the amount to progressive causes!

Unlike chicken sandwiches or lemonade, no one does what the BSA does. (I suppose there are Awanas, but they'd be a long-distant second to BSA, and they're equally sectarian/fundamentalist.) BSA's hold on this area of child development could be thought of as monopolistic, at least until competition drives the innovation of a better alternative.

I have a child who has significantly benefitted from Scouting programs. This organization's hard stance on this issue has forced me to acknowledge that some tough decisions may have to be made. On the other hand, Everything Else has been good. What to do?

Torey Lightcap

I think that if I were a parent, I would let my son join the BSA. In general, I think it's a worthwhile program.

But the reason that the BSA gives for their policy is laughable: how does barring the doors against gay people further the parents' rights to address sexuality issues themselves? It simply props up the views of those parents who believe gay people are dangerous and immoral, and denies the views of those who disagree.

And, of course, the irony that their policies might well forbid Lord Baden-Powell from participating in Scouting is rich, indeed.

I don't believe in boycotting business because of their political positions. Write whatever statements you want, it doesn't change my beliefs either way. I shop at Home Depot and I eat Chick-Fil-A. If we're so blessed with a son one day, I'd have him in the Boy Scouts too.

Hopefully he isn't gay.

Bro David

I dunno, David. Lots of gay kids seem to have gone through Scouting none the worse for wear; without them there wouldn't be anything like the National Gay Eagle Scout Association. I was a Cub Scout and then, briefly, a Boy Scout, myself. I dropped out not because of my gayness, but (probably) because the program couldn't compete with my ADHD.

@ Torey: http://www.campfireusa.org/

WHO CAN BE INVOLVED? Camp Fire is unique because we are not an exclusive club. We have evolved to welcome everyone, regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation or other aspect of diversity.

We are inclusive and open to every person in each community we serve. We work to realize the dignity and worth of every individual and to eliminate human barriers based on all assumptions that prejudge individuals. In addition, our program standards are designed and implemented to reduce sex-role, racial and cultural stereotypes and to foster positive intercultural relationships.

I was in Camp Fire way back when, and found it a very positive experience (esp. camp).

JC Fisher

Torey -

I would let your son continue. And I say this both as a gay man and as an Eagle Scout.

While I find the Scouts' policy to be antithetical to everything they claim to teach, I also recognize that I greatly benefited from my time as a Scout.

I am the rector of a parish that sponsors a troop and while I have the power and the right to discontinue sponsoring the troop, I have chosen not to. The leaders and the boys in the troop recognize the ugliness and bigotry in this policy. None of them supports it.

There may come a day when I have to end my parish's sponsorship but it is not today.

Torey -

I would let your son continue. And I say this both as a gay man and as an Eagle Scout.

While I find the Scouts' policy to be antithetical to everything they claim to teach, I also recognize that I greatly benefited from my time as a Scout.

I am the rector of a parish that sponsors a troop and while I have the power and the right to discontinue sponsoring the troop, I have chosen not to. The leaders and the boys in the troop recognize the ugliness and bigotry in this policy. None of them supports it.

There may come a day when I have to end my parish's sponsorship but it is not today.

Yeah, I'm an Eagle scout, but I'm appalled by the appeasement I read here. Is it really acceptible for a large, secular organization to emphatically denigrate gay boys and men? Does my church, at least at the parish level, support this abomination? Institutional homophobia is a sin, simple as that. And I state that as a man celebrating 34 years of "traditional' marriage.

John Donnelly

It's acceptable for a private organization to have whatever requirements for leadership they want. If what they are doing is so unjust, God wouldn't have that organization stand and be blessed.

I don't believe in boycotting business because of their political positions.

OH COME ON, Nicole!

You've told us you refuse to pledge to your TEC parish, because of GC & "815". You emphatically DO believe in "boycotting business because of their political positions." Just not because of ANTI-gay positions.

In the famous words of Judge Judy, "Don't pee on my leg, and tell me it's raining." You can fool yourself, but we can all see right through you.

JC Fisher

John, I'm not sure to what extent an organization that requires belief in God can be considered "secular." At any rate, yeah, institutional homophobia is a sin, but I'm not sure why it ought to be determinative of whether or not we participate in something. Gay people volunteered for the armed forces long before anti-gay policies were ended, for example. Without the presence of gay folk in the armed forces, I doubt those policies would have ended yet. Declining to give homophobes the gay-free zones they want is not appeasement.

Mr.Fisher, it seems like you're a reactionary when it comes to my post. At least read them before you comment. I said I shop at Home Depot...Home Depot considers itself to be "inclusive", yet I shop there because they have good products. Secondly, wouldn't "boycotting" my parish include not showing up at all? If you have a personal gripe with me, e-mail me and we'll handle it there. But please stop with these ridiculous posts in reply to me.

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