(CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry spoke out Saturday against potential changes which could permit, for the first time, openly gay members in the Boy Scouts of America.
But Perry, a Republican and former presidential candidate, told a statewide gathering of scouts that such a change is not appropriate.
"Scouting is about teaching a substantial amount of life lessons," he said. "Sexuality is not one of them. It never has been; it doesn't need to be."
The Dallas Morning News said he told reporters after the event, "I think most people see absolutely no reason to change the position and neither do I."
Representatives from local scouting councils across the state gathered in Austin for the Report to State meeting.
Perry is a former Eagle Scout and wrote the book "On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For." His publisher says the book "explains the Scouts refusal to bend to the winds of political correctness by allowing activist homosexual scoutmasters" and addresses other scouting topics.
The potential change to the Scouts' rules follows protests after a den leader was forced out of her post because she is openly gay.
The organization made no changes to their policies on gay membership after a recent lengthy internal review.
But the issue is expected to resurface at a meeting this month.
Asked Sunday if the Boy Scouts should be open to gays, President Barack Obama said "yes."
"My attitude is gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does in every institution and walk of life," Obama said in an interview with CBS anchor Scott Pelley before the Super Bowl.
Obama said the organization exposed young people to opportunities and leadership, which "will serve people for the rest of their lives."
"And I think that nobody should be barred for that," he said.
One possible national policy would allow local chapters to determine whether to accept gay members. The statement said if the national board approved this, individual troops could dictate membership "consistent with each organization's mission, principles, or religious beliefs."
The Boy Scouts of America are based in Irving, Texas, just outside of Dallas.
- CNN's Gregory Wallace and Ashley Fantz contributed to this report