The Boy Scouts of America have found themselves in hot water on numerous occasions due to their anti-gay policies, with Carly Rae Jepsen and Train recently pulling out of their annual Jamboree as a result. And at last Saturday’s GLAAD Awards, Madonna couldn’t help pouring more gasoline on the fire.
Madonna has always knows how to make a statement, so it’s no wonder she showed up in a Cub Scout uniform at the 24th annual Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Awards in New York City on March 16th. The singer took advantage of her time on stage – where she was presenting an award to Anderson Cooper – to voice her opinion about the BSA’s anti-gay policies as well as other concerns and injustices she sees happening around the world. Madonna approached the stage, dressed in a Boy Scout uniform – hat and all – to complain in a joking manner that the organization had refused to let her join and that. In the opening of her speech, she calls out the Boys Scouts of America concerning their ban on gay scouts and scout leaders, and makes a plea to become a boy scout herself. “I can build a fire. I know how to pitch a tent. I have a very good sense of direction. I can rescue kittens from trees. Listen, I want to do good for the community. And most importantly, I know how to scout for boys. So I think I should be allowed to be a boy scout. And I think they should change their stupid rules.”
She went on to condemn the issues of homophobia, hate crimes, bullying, and discrimination. The singer even brought to light the countless lawsuits she’s received from Russia for openly supporting the gay community in that country. Madonna’s speech was a moving, sincere and motivational plea for people to ban together for gay rights and to introduce Anderson Cooper, who was given the GLAAD’s Vito Russo award.
Here are some of the most moving quotes of the ten minute speech…
“What did Jesus teach? It’s in all the holy books. Love thy neighbor as thyself. So, we cannot use the name of God, or religion, to justify acts of violence. To hurt, to hate, to discriminate.”
"When I think about young kids today in America who are being bullied and tortured, who are taking their own lives because they feel alone and judged, outcast and misunderstood, I want to cry a river of tears. I have teenagers of my own now and the idea of them or any young person experiencing that kind of pain is unfathomable to me. It’s an atrocity to me. I don’t accept it."
"It [The bullying epidemic] is no different from a white supremacist hanging a black man from a tree before the Civil Rights movement. It’s no different than a member of the Taliban shooting a young girl in the head for writing a blog about the importance of female education. It’s no crazier than an Iranian gay man being hanged for falling in love with a man. I don’t know about you, but I can’t take this shit anymore. That is why I want to start a revolution. Are you with me? It’s 2013, people. We live in America. Land of the free, home of the brave… That’s a question, not a statement."
She then launches into her introduction of the man of the hour, Anderson Cooper. “I do love that word brave. I don’t fling it around very often. I don’t know a lot of brave people. In the song you just heard, I sing the line ‘it’s so hard to find someone to admire’. And that is the reason I am here. To give an award to someone I admire. To acknowledge someone who is brave. Someone who has made a difference in the world by promoting equality, and giving a voice to the LGBT community. I am here to honor you, Anderson Cooper.”
You can watch the entirety of here speech here.