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Scouts' New Leader: Ex-defense Chief Gates
Posted November 27, 2013
The man who helped pave the way for
homosexuals to serve openly in the military will become the new volunteer
leader of the Boy Scouts of America in 2014.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates became the president-elect of the BSA on October
30. According to a statement released by the Boy Scouts, "This move means
that upon approval of voting members of the National Council, Gates would begin
a two-year term as the BSA national president in May 2014." Gates will
succeed Wayne Perry, the current national president.
selection of Gates for this role was unexpected. AT&T chairman Randall
Stephenson has been Scouting's BSA president-elect the past two years, and the
normal procedure would have been for him to become president. According to
Richard Mathews, a former general counsel for the Boy Scouts, "I believe
this is unprecedented."
Was the change made because Gates is more likely to allow homosexual leaders in the Boy Scouts? Scouting spokesman Deron Smith said the selection of Gates "is not related to the BSA's membership standards policy." But Smith would not answer questions from WORLD Magazine about Gates' or the BSA's plans for implementing new policy that allows openly homosexual boys to participate in Scouting.
"The BSA just completed a review of
its membership policies and there are no plans to discuss it further,"
Smith added that Gates has had a
long association with Scouting and had been slated for a BSA leadership role
until his service as secretary of defense and CIA director made that
impossible. "This move was made because the BSA had the opportunity to
take advantage of a unique moment to add Dr. Gates," Smith said.
Stephenson will continue to serve in
the role of president-elect during the Gates presidency. "Aside from
timing," Smith said, "nothing has changed."
Matthews, who now serves as general counsel for TrailLife USA, a Christian alternative to the Boy Scouts, said it is a "very difficult thing to know" whether Gates will be more or less likely than Stephenson to allow homosexual leaders in the BSA.