WASHINGTON — Rep. Mike McIntyre, a North Carolina Democrat, is “concerned” about the Boy Scouts’ decision to allow openly gay youth to continue to be members.
“I’m very disappointed,” he told NBC-6, WECT, in North Carolina. “I know my church has a long history of producing Eagle Scouts including my son and I know that many organizations that sponsor scouting are quite concerned about that and did not feel like it was an appropriate step. I know I’m concerned about it and did not think it was an appropriate step.”
McIntyre’s office did not respond to multiple requests to explain his concerns. The Democrat barely won re-election this past fall; his race was the last House race to be called in 2012.
Brad Jacklin, the executive director of the House LGBT Equality Caucus, noted that several members of the House, led by Reps. Henry Waxman and Adam Schiff, showed their disagreement with McIntyre, calling on the Scouts to go further by sending a letter urging the Scouts to end its ban on out gay leaders.
“Certainly, it’s saddening when people say anti-LGBT things that we know to be false,” Jacklin said of McIntyre’s comments, “but instead of getting angry, I think the caucus provides an opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue instead of angry rhetoric.”
Update: Rep. Adam Schiff responded to McIntryre’s comments by comparing the Boy Scouts’ decision to the end of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, saying that, as with opponents of allowing out gay service members, “critics of the Boy Scouts move towards greater equality [will] be proven wrong.”
Schiff’s full statement:
“There were those who feared that allowing LGBT servicemembers to serve openly would impair readiness, harm morale or unit cohesion – none if which proved correct. Instead, our military has been strengthened as a fighting force and as an example of the American values of inclusion and nondiscrimination. So, too, will critics of the Boy Scouts move towards greater equality be proven wrong, and I have no doubt that when the Scouts come to realize the full benefits of the step they have just taken, the remaining barriers will fall and all youth will have the opportunity to gain from the experience of being Scouts, Scout leaders and engaged Scouting parents.”