AUSTIN (KXAN) - In his 2008 book, On My Honor, he challenged what he argued was an attack on Boy Scout values in general and suggested that discussions about sexual orientation were outside the youth organization's purview.
"I do not believe the teaching of sexual preference fits within the parameters of Scouting's mission," Perry wrote. "The defining characteristic of homosexuality and heterosexuality is sex. Scouting is not intended to advance a discussion about sexual activity, whether of the heterosexual or homosexual form. You will find few parents of Scouts concerned about the homosexual scoutmaster whose sexuality is not disclosed as long as sexuality in no way enters into the scout-scoutmaster relationship."
But Perry, who attained the rank of eagle scout as young man, also angered some gay rights activists by arguing that people are ultimately responsible for the active choices they make, comparing alcoholism to homosexuality to make his point .
"Even if an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol once it enters his body, he still makes the choice to drink," he wrote. "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."
NBC News on Monday reported that the Boy Scouts are moving toward relaxing the policy that bars gay membership. Perry could not immediately be reached for his reaction. But in the book he used the issue of gays and scouting to take a shot at Mitt Romney, who would defeat Perry for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.
The topic was the 2002 Winter Olympics that Romney headed up, where gays and Boy Scouts became an issue.
"We know that Romney, as a political candidate in the politically liberal state of Massachusetts, has parted ways with the Scouts on its policies over the involvement of gay individuals in Scout activities," Perry wrote
Other excerpts from the book include:
- "BSA units do not routinely ask a prospective adult leader about his (or her) sex life. The organization takes the position that this subject is a private matter and certainly not part of any Scout program."
- "In the Scout Oath, the scout promises to be ‘morally straight.' The Boy Scout Handbook says that to be ‘morally straight' is ‘to be a person of strong character.' The BSA's position is that a homosexual who makes his sex life a public matter is not an appropriate role model of the Scout Oath and Law for adolescent boys."
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