Indiana rep. sorry for ripping Girl Scouts

Feb. 24, 2012 at 9:01 PM
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FORT WAYNE, Ind., Feb. 24 (UPI) -- An Indiana lawmaker apologized to Girl Scouts of Indiana, but not to the national organization, for describing scouts with "reactionary, inflammatory" words.

In a letter to Indiana House Republicans, Rep. Bob Morris, a Fort Wayne Republican, had said the Girl Scouts of America was a "radicalized organization" that had "entered into a close strategic affiliation with Planned Parenthood." Morris wrote the letter to explain why he was the lone holdout on a resolution celebrating the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts of America.

Morris said he searched the Web and found "abundant evidence proves the agenda of Planned Parenthood includes sexualizing young girls through the Girl Scouts, which is quickly becoming a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood."

Following widespread condemnation of the letter, Morris issued a statement Thursday saying the letter had been meant only for his GOP colleagues and apologizing to "the Girl Scouts of Indiana and all of the girls and parents of Indiana who are participating in and running their Girl Scout organizations in a way that promotes leadership, community involvement and family values" and acknowledging he "should not have painted the entire Girl Scouts organization with such a wide brush."

"After reflecting on the letter I wrote on Feb. 18, 2012, to my fellow Indiana Republican representatives, I realize now that my words were emotional, reactionary and inflammatory," Morris said Thursday.

"In hindsight, I never should have written the letter," he said. "However, I still would not sign the tesolution honoring the Girl Scouts -- not because of any local troops or even the Girl Scouts of Indiana, but because of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (Girl Scouts USA) and its policies."

Morris said it is his "sincere hope that this statement will end the publicity with regard to my letter. I look forward to moving on to more important issues of state policy."

A spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana said this week the organization's "membership is still strong, and our cookie sales are up from last year."

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