Obama Comes Out Against Boy Scouts' Ban on Gays
But doesn't plan to resign as group's honorary president
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 9, 2012 6:59 AM CDT
"The president believes the Boy Scouts is a valuable organization ... he also opposes discrimination in all forms, and as such opposes this policy that discriminates on basis of sexual orientation."   (Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – When it comes to gays and the Boy Scouts, President Obama and the youth organization he serves as honorary president have agreed to disagree. In an email sent to the AP after three weeks of staying mum on the Scouts' recently reaffirmed policy of excluding gays as members and adult leaders, the White House yesterday said Obama opposes the policy—but he has no plans to resign as honorary president. The president "opposes discrimination in all forms, and as such opposes this policy that discriminates on basis of sexual orientation," read the statement.

The Scouts said in a statement that they respect Obama's opinion and believe that "good people" can disagree on the subject and still work together to "accomplish the common good." Mitt Romney hasn't spoken publicly about the Boy Scouts' policy in recent days, but a campaign rep says he stands by comments he made in 1994: "I support the right of the Boy Scouts of America to decide what it wants to do on that issue. I feel that all people should be able to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation."

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 139 comments
HANKHILL
Aug 9, 2012 11:02 PM CDT
what is the problem here? just let the gays and the whatevers form their own troops. same goes for the military there we could use them in special ops! i know you gays and whatevers can scout and fight just do it for yourselves and let the rest of us alone!
LoginsSuck
Aug 9, 2012 11:27 AM CDT
I like the agree to disagree approach Obama is taking. You can't disband a private organization like the BSA that does so much good for young men because of their misguided attempt (however wrong) to protect youth from the possibility of abuse and limit their liability. You also can't just let them think you agree with them either. I like that he is stating his disagreement publicly and dismissing the misinformation that gays should be discriminated against because of sexual orientation. I highly disagree with the BSA policy. Homosexuals are not pedophiles and should not be discriminated against. I feel a bit in the middle here. My family has been involved in scouting in one from or another since I was in the BSA explorers (co-ed) in high school. I have two sons who are both in the process of their Eagle projects. My husband and his two brothers are Eagle scouts. I am a leader/UC and have been for over 11 years. I have seen the good this organization does with the many young boys who grow to become competent, confident, respectable young men who are quite capable of being the future leadership of the nation. There is no emphasis on being homophobic or meeting topics of gays. In my experience, the many units I have been associated with have operated on a don't ask don't care method. As long as it is not officially brought to light, there has been tolerant attitudes. The focus is on the boy (scout) and his development. The same attitude has also been toward religion. Duty to God and Country is one of the three main points of the Oath. They put that right there in the Oath and the Law as well (A scout is reverent). It's not a hidden agenda to convert to any religion. The scout must have reverence for a high power in his life. Doesn't say you have to subscribe to a particular religion or even Christianity, there are religious awards for all types of "religions" including Buddhism and Islam. These are not requirements for any rank advancement and are options for the scout to develop if/when he decides. Of course if you join a troop charted by a church you will find they gravitate towards that particular religion. But there are many troops to choose from and many that are out of non-religious organizations. You choose one that bests fits your needs. If your scout said the oath and left out the god part, I hardly think you would run into problems unless he was blatantly challenging or obnoxious. Many former scouts and Eagle scouts have quit volunteering and few who are paid scouters have quit as well in protest. I even know a few who have mailed back their Eagle medals. I can't bring myself to leave (give up on) the scouts because of their policy, just yet. I also am naive enough to believe that change comes from within and I can do more to bring about that by staying in, promoting tolerance, and condemning discrimination than leaving in protest.
ObamaliberalsSuck
Aug 9, 2012 11:22 AM CDT
Nlo problem NOW LET MEN BE GIRL SCOUT LEADERS, Fair is Fair!!