Thursday, August 16, 2012

Obama, Romney opposed to Boy Scouts ban on gays - USA TODAY

President Obama and Mitt Romney may be on opposite sides when it comes to same-sex marriage, but they both disagree with the Boy Scouts of America's policy banning gay scouts and troop leaders.

"The president believes the Boy Scouts is a valuable organization that has helped educate and build character in American boys for more than a century," White House spokesman Shin Inouye said. "He also opposes discrimination in all forms, and as such opposes this policy that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation."

Inouye's statement on behalf of Obama was reported by The Washington Blade.

Last week, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul told the Associated Press that Romney's position hasn't changed from what he stated in 1994. At that time, during a political debate, Romney said: "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."

The Boy Scouts reaffirmed its policy banning gay members last month, following a two-year review. The Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the organization could bar gays from being scoutmasters.

Since 1910, the president of the United States has served as the honorary president of the Boy Scouts. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force had urged Obama to reconsider his role in light of the policy.

CBS News reports Obama will not resign from the honorary post.

"The fact that the presidential candidates of both major American parties have come together to oppose the BSA's anti-gay policy in the most polarized political climate since Reconstruction speaks volumes about both the moral validity and critical importance of ending the ban," said Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout and co-founder of Scouts for Equality.

Obama and Romney are on opposite sides on the issue of whether gay men and lesbians should have the right to marry. Obama said he supports gay marriage; Romney is opposed.

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