Conservative martial arts icon Chuck Norris has criticised gay rights campaigners for trying to overturn a "century-old policy" banning homosexual members from taking part in the Boy Scouts of America youth organisation.
The group's long-standing rules have come under scrutiny in recent months after lesbian Ohio mum Jennifer Tyrrell was ousted as an adult leader of her son's Bridgeport troop in April (12) after bosses decided her sexual orientation "did not meet the high standards" set forth by the group. Her child, Cruz, was subsequently asked to leave the organisation as well.
Tyrrell's treatment has infuriated the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (Lgbt) community and activists, including famous faces Julianne Moore, Ricky Martin and Star Trek legend George Takei, have been calling for Boy Scouts officials to modernise its policies.
Top organisation leader James Turley recently vowed to "seek a change" to the discriminatory rules, but staunch Republican supporter Norris questions Turley's motives and insists the Boy Scouts should remain true to its "core values and beliefs" because its members "epitomise the best of America".
In an article posted on, Norris claims Turley is simply trying to gain favour with U.S. President Barack Obama by aligning the Boy Scouts with the politician's liberal stance on gay rights.
He writes, "Is Turley working on his own initiative, or has the White House prodded him with perks and favors?
"...I personally have known a host of Boy Scouts, Eagle Scouts and Bsa leaders. These individuals epitomize the best of America. Indeed, the Bsa is as integral a part of American life and culture as hot dogs, baseball and Grandma's apple pie."