First, let me state, my position on the issue of homosexuality is closer to that of Lockheed than it is to the BSA. As a small l libertarian, I don't care what consenting adults do. But I also firmly believe in the right of association, which means the right of disassociation. In short, I think the Boy Scouts ought to be allowed to exclude homosexuals, just as Lockheed ought to be allowed to exclude the Scouts.
Now, the Lockheed decision. Why now? Lockheed has worked closely for decades with many other organizations which oppose homosexuality. The U.S. military, while close to my heart, comes to mind. Also, a few middle eastern nations are Lockheed's primary foreign customer base and source of income. While the U.S. military has softened their stance on homosexuality, it cannot be considered open. Lockheed continues to list Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as customers, yet both nations outlaw homosexuality and recently began medically testing visitors in an effort to prevent their entry into those nations. (Seriously.)
In short, I have no problem with the Boy Scouts. They are wrong on the issue of sexuality, but I don't shun people just for holding contrary opinions. I can respect their reasoning if not their conclusion. Lockheed, on the other hand, has no reasoning. They take conflicting stances on organizations with the same view, based solely on how much money they stand to make. To that, I call bullshit:
I'm sure you'll receive many letters and comments supporting the policies of the Boy Scouts of America as a result of your recent story on the decision by Lockheed Martin Corporation to sever all ties with the community organization. The values and beliefs of the BSA are quite common, and this decision by Lockheed will anger many in the local area.
I do not share the BSA's opinion on homosexuality, yet I think Lockheed Martin is the party to be ostracized here. Like children on a playground, Lockheed is responding to the BSA's intolerance with intolerance of their own. Just as the BSA's policies are intolerant of homosexuality, Lockheed's new policy is intolerant of politically incorrect opinions. At least the BSA holds values it believes are in the best interest of children. Lockheed appears to hold values it believes play well in the media.
Lockheed's new policy seems oddly superficial. If these were core values at Lockheed, why did they continue to do billions of dollars of business with the U.S. military, when for decades the military's policies were essentially identical to those of the BSA? Why does Lockheed continue to do millions of dollars of transactions with foreign governments which not only outlaw homosexuality but punish it severly? Contrary to the ridiculous comments by Cobb Democratic Party Chairwoman Melissa Pike, Lockheed does not put their money where their mouth is; Lockheed puts its values up for sale.
Powder Springs, GA