'This is of course the same justification used to prevent minorities from eating in restaurants during the Jim Crow years'
Former Eagle Scout George Takei, best known as Sulu from the original Star Trek TV series, spoke out Wednesday (18 July) against the Boy Scouts of America’s announcement this week that they will continue to ban openly gay people.
Takei, who rode in last month’s New York City LGBT Pride Parade wearing his Scout uniform, called the anti-gay position an ‘ugly blemish’ on an organization he ‘revered’ as a teenager.
In a column posted on the website for his new musical Allegiance, Takei accuses the BSA of making their announcement Tuesday to preempt publicity surrounding ousted lesbian den leader Jennifer Tyrrell’s delivery of more than 300,000 petition signatures to BSA headquarters calling for an end to the organization’s anti-gay policy.
‘The statement indicated that their committee met in secret and unanimously voted to uphold the ban. Hogwash,’ Takei writes. ‘My sources, including ones close to the leadership at the BSA, inform me that this ‘vote’ actually took place in 2010 and that the ‘announcement’ is merely recycled news.’
Takei, who married longtime partner Brad Altman in 2008, called the anti-gay policy damaging to gay youth.
‘These policies by the BSA reinforce that gay people are unfit to be part of this national organization because of who they are,’ he writes. ‘They perpetuate the irresponsible and unsupportable stereotype that gay people prey upon children. And they must be met with staunch resistance until they fall.’
‘It sends the wrong message to our youth, many of whom already are struggling with their own sexual identity – an identity which has nothing whatsoever to do with their ‘morality,’ but everything to do with their self-esteem and happiness,’ he adds.
Takei states that this week’s announcement does not derail the ongoing fight to open the BSA to everybody.
‘We will not stop fighting until the ban is overturned, if not in court, then in the court of public opinion,’ he writes. ‘Progress is not measured in days or months or even years, but in the slow and inevitable turn towards equality for all people irrespective of inherent differences which frankly in this day and age, SHOULD. NOT. MATTER.’