Obama opposes Boy Scouts' ban of gay members
August 8th, 2012
07:02 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama opposes Boy Scouts' ban of gay members

(CNN) - A White House spokesman said Wednesday that President Barack Obama disagrees with a ban on gays in the Boy Scouts, despite serving as that organization's honorary president.

In July, the Boy Scouts of America announced it had affirmed its policy of "not granting membership to open or avowed homosexuals."

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The organization's leaders reached that decision after a nearly two-year evaluation and will take no further action on a resolution that has sought a change in policy, the group said in a news release. The organization had said last month that it would consider a resolution asking that local units be allowed to determine their own standards.

BSA's chief scout executive and national president had convoked a committee of volunteers and professional leaders to evaluate the policy.

On Wednesday, White House spokesman Shin Inouye said Obama recognized the value of the Boy Scouts, but disagreed with their ban on gays.

"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," Inouye wrote. "He also opposes discrimination in all forms, and as such opposes this policy that discriminates on basis of sexual orientation."

Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has supported allowing gays to participate in the Boy Scouts, but he has also supported the Boy Scouts' right to decide its own policies.

On its website, the Boy Scouts write that every president since 1910 - the year of the Scouts' founding - has served as its honorary president.

In a statement, the president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation hailed Obama's decision while criticizing the Boy Scouts' decision to remain closed to gay members.

"Our nation's leaders from across religions and political persuasions have joined hundreds of thousands of Americans in speaking out against the blatant discrimination that the Boy Scouts of America teaches young adults today. It's clear that this outdated policy will be changing in the future," GLAAD President Herndon Graddick wrote.

"How long will the Boy Scouts continue to bully young gay Americans into hiding who they are and hurt children of gay parents by denying their parents an opportunity to participate in their children's lives?"

In May, Obama publicly backed same-sex marriage for the first time in an interview with ABC News. Obama said soon after at a campaign fund-raising event that he believes marriage equality "strengthens families."

"I want everyone treated fairly in this country," Obama said. "We have never gone wrong when we've extended rights and responsibilities to everybody," he said, drawing big applause. "That doesn't weaken families, that strengthens families."

Last week a committee drafting the Democrats' party platform approved language endorsing same-sex marriage. If that position is approved by the full party, it would mark the first time support for same-sex marriage is included in the Democrats' platform.

BSA released a statement on Thursday responding to the president's opposition to their stance.

"The Boy Scouts of America respects the opinions of President Obama and appreciates his recognition that Scouting is a valuable organization," the statement read."We believe that good people can personally disagree on this topic and still work together to accomplish the common good."

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. Homer

    Of course he is opposed. He's had to go after the Gay dollars for this election. Flip Flops aren't just shoes..............

    August 9, 2012 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  2. Mark

    Evidently Obama and others supporting gay marriage, do not know what takes place between two men that get married or they would not be for gay marriage !!! No one would think that act is normal especially when we pay billions of $$$$$ to fight aids all over the world each year funded by our tax money?????? It's not normal and God says so in the good old bible !! Read it in Romans, chapter one !!!!!

    August 9, 2012 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  3. Mike

    Screw what Obama thinks. He's irrelevant now any way. The Boy Scouts are doing the right thing and I applaud them for it.

    August 9, 2012 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  4. Bob

    Does he oppose the Saudi Royal family and their oil too? They hate gays as well, but difference is that they execute people for being gay along with our so called allies in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He won't have boy scouts in the White House but will actually have people who murder gays in the White House.

    I support gay rights and marriage fully, but the hypocrisy in this case is shameful. Apply to all or none Mr. Obama.

    August 9, 2012 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  5. Mike

    Here's an idea.....join the girl scouts.

    August 9, 2012 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  6. ronjayaz

    Another congratulations to our President for a stance that is only minority popular & not the best vote getter. Courageous is what he is under the circumstances. Rmoney's stance is a real fence sitter, making him eligible to flip-flop. All these singular victories for gays is all so tiring. Get over it, America. Yor no longer the straightest nation in the world.

    August 9, 2012 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  7. Faxon

    Obama, the Perfect Storm for Democrats. What will be pull next? Wait and see. Probably legal pot, statehood for Mexico, or lifetime tax free status, legal voting, (instead of having to cheat as they do now), and passports for all future criminal immigrants who sneak in. Oh, yea, lifetime food stamps for everybody who registers Democrat.

    August 9, 2012 03:43 am at 3:43 am |
  8. Richard

    Obama wants every scoutmaster to be a Jerry Sandusky.

    August 9, 2012 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  9. tiwari

    Just for this reason I wont be voting for Obama and Democrats this election. I am a democrat from California but am disgusted with this stand taken by Obama.

    August 9, 2012 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  10. jeff tartt

    Obama is a desperate man.A Grifter caught at his game.He will say or do anything to get a vote.How embarrassing for this country.You should hang your head in shame if you vote for this man!

    August 9, 2012 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  11. Vincent

    Good for Obama. Hes finally LEADING. Whether or not i agree with everything he does is a different story.
    Now id like to hear some clear policy information from Romney without all the double-talk, and back-tracking, and generalizations.

    August 9, 2012 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  12. JOHN

    All America can do is mourn. Tragic to realize our moral decay. Tragic when a nation forgets God.

    August 9, 2012 04:55 am at 4:55 am |
  13. Dave A

    The pack leaders and "Order of the Arrow" i e the alfa males, abused other boys, made them go naked etc.. This is 1950's.. There were plenty of gays, all acting tough. The Boy Scouts should be investigated

    August 9, 2012 04:57 am at 4:57 am |
  14. KLN

    My son is in the Scouts. I support their stand on refusing to allow openly gay leadership. They have not say gay parents cannot be involved or attend meetings. They don't allow them to serve in leadership positions. The Scouts are one of the few organizations that doesn't bend their beliefs and values based upon what is politically correct or pressure from a minority of people that are vocal about their beliefs. Just as it is okay for people to believe and support the gay community, it's okay for the Scouts to believe and support traditional marriage and roles and decline leadership to those that do not support their beliefs.

    August 9, 2012 05:03 am at 5:03 am |
  15. DanoM

    All the boys scouts said that you can't join if you are openly gay. Same thing as the military. I am so sick of hearing the "GLADD" say anything because if you disagree with them then you are a bigot. Not true, I just don't want some queen sleeping and training young boys. Gay lifestyle is not something that we should be shoving down these young kids throats. Let them be kids first and then when they grow up decide what they want to do.

    August 9, 2012 05:09 am at 5:09 am |
  16. GysgtG

    Good for the boy scouts. The country is sick of bowing to degenerates like these people. No hate, certainly no fear
    , make no mistake. It is disgust!

    August 9, 2012 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  17. Lola

    "How long will the Boy Scouts continue to bully young gay Americans into hiding who they are and hurt children of gay parents by denying their parents an opportunity to participate in their children's lives?"

    Don't be so damn dramatic and stop calling it bullying because it's not. It's the Boy Scout policy not be inclusive and obviously, no one can force them to accept the gay lifestyle. I think it's time to create an LGBT Scout if so you wish. Then you can implement all the rules you want that would be appropriate to gay children and/or gay parents.

    August 9, 2012 05:19 am at 5:19 am |
  18. FreeYourMind

    He is allowed his opinion . So is the BSA. Cointnually pushing your viewpoint over others and then condeming other viewpoints is facist.

    August 9, 2012 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  19. LDK

    This goes both ways...if the gay community wants leadership positions in the Scouts, then people with conservative traditional-marriage views should be allowed to hold leadership positions within the gay community. I'm sure that wouldn't be accepted. Why is it expected in reverse? Doesn't it only make sense that you want people in leadership positions within your organization that believe in the values of the organization?

    August 9, 2012 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  20. larry5

    Well, now that Obama has butted in with his unsolicited opinion I hope he goes away.

    August 9, 2012 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  21. pbsat

    What is this perversion of bringing adult sexual matters in to my kids' activity? Boy Scouts is a private organization, leave them alone! If you want to propogate your gay agenda, start a "Gay Boy Scouts" so that gays have like minded people in your company. Those who are gay could still continue to be part of Boy Scouts as long as you don't get explicit your gayness or your straight sexuality. For crying out loud, it's for kids and let it stay that way. Gays should stop pushing ordinary folks to the limit.

    August 9, 2012 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  22. StandByYourConvictions

    As President of the United States, President Obama is by tradition/charter, the Honorary President of the Boy Scouts of the USA.

    Make a bold public stand: Step down as the Honorary President of BSA, Mr. President!

    Actions speak louder than words. No US President has ever refused be the Honorary President of the BSA.

    Words mean nothing without action.

    August 9, 2012 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  23. NObama 2012

    NO WAY! How can he justify this? Just look at the number of gays that end up molesting young boys. If the Boy Scouts of America did allow gays, it would end the organization. I for one would not allow a son to be a part of it, and I would tell my son that his son should steer clear of such. This is sick and disgusting. A little camp out where the gays came help the young boys learn how to do gay things. Absolutely sick. Shoot me first please!

    August 9, 2012 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  24. anaxsense

    This issue is about sexual behavior and maximizing your children's chances of not being the victims of sexual abuse - Just as I would not want my daughter in a girl scout troop led by heterosexual men, I would also not want my son in a boy scout troop headed by homosexual men. With all the recent incidents and accounts of sexual abuse of children by both heterosexuals and homosexuals, I want my children as safe as I can make them. This is not about bias or a suspicion of immediate and inevitable sexual abuse; it is simply understanding the strong sexual proclivities of all human beings. I would worry about a heterosexual man involved with my daughter in the Girl Scouts, and I would worry about a homosexual man involved with my son in the Boy Scouts.

    August 9, 2012 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  25. Justice

    whos bullying who there mr.bad pres? Ur legacy,,,,,Save the gays to make a better YOU!!!

    August 9, 2012 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
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