by Ed Vitagliano
(AgapePress) - Concerned parents are getting mixed signals from the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) about whether that organization will be promoting to its girls a controversial new video which endorses same-sex relationships. In the wake of that dispute, an ongoing investigation by AFA Journal is raising a serious question: Is the GSUSA covering up a statement made by its president, Connie Matsui?
In the February issue of AFA Journal it was reported that representatives of more than 100 groups, like the National PTA and the YWCA, had enthusiastically lauded the controversial That's A Family! at a White House screening of the video in December. That's A Family! is an instructional video for children, which equates same-sex relationships with marriage and claims that same-sex couples with children are families.
That same article quoted Women's Educational Media (WEM), producers of That's A Family!, which claimed that GSUSA had also jumped on board and agreed to promote the video. Angry callers to the young girls' organization were told the AFA Journal story was not true.
Matsui not only attended the White House screening, but also addressed those in attendance. On the WEM website, Matsui is quoted as saying, "It's really a pleasure to be here, and to congratulate you personally on such a wonderful product. We really look forward to using [That's A Family!] in our informal education in working with all girls across the country."
American Family Association President Donald E. Wildmon said, "That statement certainly indicates to AFA - and I imagine, to concerned parents - that the Girl Scouts fully intend to use That's A Family! To teach young girls to accept homosexuality."
Furthermore, WEM media spokeswoman Sue Rochman told AFA Journal that the quotes attributed to Matsui were transcribed directly from an audiotape of the Girl Scout president's speech.
A spokeswoman at the GSUSA, however, categorically denies that Matsui said any such thing. Ellen Ach, Director of Media Services for GSUSA, said the AFA Journal article was "absolutely not [true]. She never said that." Instead, Ach claims that, while Matsui did make positive comments about That's A Family!, it was only about the video's attempt to promote "inclusiveness."
GSUSA's official statement regarding the controversy said: "Girl Scouts of the USA did not formally endorse this videotape called That's A Family! or the organizations who produced it or are promoting it. Neither are we suggesting any of our member's purchase or use the tape.
Wildmon said "formally endorse" may be an attempt to split hairs in order to get the GSUSA off the hook with angry parents. "To say 'formally endorse' only means the words 'Endorsed by the Girl Scouts' won't appear on the film," he said. In any case, Wildmon said the statement does not address the speech made by the Girl Scout president.
"WEM says it has an audiotape of Ms. Matsui's speech, and she made the statement. GSUSA says Ms. Matsui did not make the statement," he said. "I have no doubt there are many parents who want to know who is telling the truth."