John Stemberger is perhaps Florida's best-known homophobe. He was deeply involved in Florida's effort to ban gay marriage and runs the Florida Family Policy Council, a group that opposes just about any bit of legal protection for the LGBT community. Now he's decided to start a separate group solely to keep openly gay members out of Boy Scouts and in typical Stemberger fashion is using fear-mongering rhetoric straight out of the 1950s.
Stemberger is now founder and president of On My Honor
, a group that aims to "keep sex and politics out of Boy Scouts." The website includes an eight-point list
of the impact they believe openly gay members would have on scouting.
The group predicts a "mass exodus" of members if the BSA were to allow gay scouts and leaders, "Just
as Canadian scouts saw a 50 percent drop over five years as a result of this same policy change in
What the group fails to mention is that in 1998, Scouts Canada enacted a number of reforms, including allowing girls to join. It also fails to point out that since 1999, the Boy Scouts of America's own membership has declined by about one-third
and that, obviously, opinions have changed quite a bit since 1998.
The list also predicts "a surge of boy-on-boy sexual conduct" and "Cub Scout packs and Boy Scout troops marching in gay-pride parades with salacious conduct and partial nudity." And for some reason, worries about "URL website links from individual pack, troop, and council websites to other websites with inappropriate sexual and political content."
The threat of URL website links? Seems like they're grasping at straws here.
Most of the rhetoric isn't backed up or explained.
"What kind of a message are we sending to our young people if the very leaders who are teaching Boy Scouts to be brave, cannot even find the courage to stand firm and avoid caving to peer pressure from Hollywood and political activists?" Stemberger, who himself is a professional political activist, says in a news release.