Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GOP_Logo1.svg

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GOP_Logo1.svg

When the Boy Scouts decided to revisit their policy of excluding gays boys from the organization, they did an extensive survey of Scouts and former Scouts, adult volunteers and parents in and out of scouting, and the general population. While the adult volunteers supported retaining the policy, everyone else backed a change. The Scouts changed.

Similarly, the Republican Party has been confronted with a challenge to its official support of a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. A slim majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents now support same-sex marriage. In their new survey, the College Republicans have found that only 30 percent of young people support legally restricting marriage to one man and one woman, and that 26 percent say they wouldn’t vote for a candidate who opposes SSM even if they agree with the candidate on other issues.

But don’t look for the GOP to follow the Boy Scouts’ lead. The key institutional players for the Scouts are the Mormons, the Methodists, and the Catholics, which sponsor most of the troops in the country. All three have backed the change of policy.

The key institutional player for the Republicans are white evangelicals, who constitute 40 percent of the GOP coalition. It’s the white evangelicals who are pulling out of Scouting rather than acquiesce in a policy that merely accepts gay boys as Scouts. Alienating them by going wobbly on SSM is something the GOP can’t risk.

Categories: Politics

Mark Silk

Mark Silk

Mark Silk is Professor of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College and director of the college's Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. He is a Contributing Editor of the Religion News Service

2 Comments

  1. AND, there is the problem that Scouting will eventually have to address: their policy of not allowing gay/lesbian leadership. One small step at a time is better than no step at all. I have another question. Why are we not hearing of any problems with lesbians in the Girl Scout organizations?

  2. The so-called “compromise” doesn’t “merely” accept gay boys as Scouts. The so-called “compromise” sends and reinforces the gay-activists’ position that you can “do your duty to God” and “be morally straight” AND be a practicing homosexual at the same time.

    This is why the gay activists have already begun their campaign to force the Boy Scouts of America, a religious organization, to admit adult gay leaders. The BSA has already conceded the specific gay-activist message regarding its gay members under 18, so now the BSA has NO legal defense against the insistence that the argument be equally applicable for those gay members over 18 as well.

    A couple of good gay lawsuits will end in total surrender for the BSA. The BSA has fallen. Furthermore, you can clearly see that their supporting churches are crumbling and capitulating. These are tough times in America, and they will soon get much worse.

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