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."

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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 It's clear that this outdated policy will be changing in the future," GLAAD President Herndon Graddick wrote.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. FrankA

    The only bullying I see is the so-called president and GLAAD trying to bully the Boy Scouts into compromising their values.

    August 9, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  2. stephen

    But, it's a LIFESTYLE CHOICE and it DOES NOT have to be accepted by anyone, especially a private organization. This DISCRIMINATION STUFF is ridiculous as we all (when it's politically expedient) 'discriminate' with whom we want to associate with and not associate with and the gays are a group of people who desire to live a lifestyle that in my judgment is abhorrent. It's that simple.

    August 9, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  3. Princess

    The president is out of touch, he does not have a son......his kids are monitored 24/7. The real world we need to have a safe place for our boys, we should not have to worry about our kids being sexually molested. I agree with the Boy Scouts' ban. If the gays dont like it go form a gay only Boy Scout group. You cannot shove gayness down everybody throat and expect us to all agree with it. I do not mind gay people, I have a niece who is gay but I will NEVER accept her life style, I will never disowned her, but do not shove your gayness on me.

    August 9, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  4. Thenextstep

    Just more reasons to hate Obama !!!!!!!!!!

    August 9, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  5. bobby frank

    Clearly this president is headed in the right direction on this issue. Discrimination of Gay families is wrong and everybody knows it is wrong. So what exactly is the problems now? Don't come with the religion bunk because we know that if you were going by the bible then women would have to prove their virginity or be stoned to death.

    August 9, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  6. mslisac363

    Not trying to be a butt, but if boys want to be girls, why are they not trying out for the girl scouts and the same for females who want to be boys.

    August 9, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  7. Zeibodique

    If people are so bothered by gays/lesbians and are so afraid they'll have an effect on your life, let me ask you this- Why do you still insist on going to church when it's a well known fact that pastors and priests are molesting children? By your way of thinking with the BSA, then you should never ever step into your Gods house because the people representing are far worse and more vile than those you're shunning-

    August 9, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  8. Charles

    I have a question, if you are a gay male then why are you not trying to join the girlscouts? Are you really wanting to join the scouts or are you just trying to make some sort of perveted stand?

    August 9, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  9. Everett Wallace

    freedom of speech and religion are abolished and those who don't know me by now see you in new orleans and that is a promise from the 3 + 1= 4 now figure that out. Boneheads.

    August 9, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  10. zorroprimo

    Good for the Boy Scouts. If a homosexual wants to play with the guys, he can join the Army!

    August 9, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  11. JFH67

    Who really cares what he thinks. Rich coming from somone who can't manage their own appointment much less tell others what they should do with theirs.

    August 9, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  12. Kenster

    This issue isn't about gayness it is about 11 year old boys heading into puberty, not sure of what's going with their own bodies so therefore not needing to deal with another complex unknown at this time in their lives. As adults, with adult minds one should be able to understand and accept the differences humanity presents but please recognize that 11 year old boys at this stage in life do not need to be climbing into tents in the middle of no where worried that their tent mate might find them interesting. Sorry children need to be children and not forced into uncomforatble situations.

    August 9, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  13. Indiana Voter

    For a President that claims to be a Christian, he sure does do and say the opposite of what a Christian believes. I think this is why so many people are confused, or don't know, when asked about the President's beliefs in polls.

    August 9, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  14. Chedar

    A great president. Defender of the weak and the oppress. I am proud of you Mr. President.,OBAMA/Biden 2012

    August 9, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  15. SimpletonB

    Yep.. They should, but as a private organization I suppose they have the right to decide themselves. It's best to let them come to the ultimate conclusion themselves; rather than forcing it on them. Less resentment in the future that way. Boy Scouts is a great organization, and it should let in any Tom, Dick, or Harry. More and more in this world it should be about what you have to offer in terms of knowledge and understanding, rather than race/creed/gender/sexual orientation.

    And lets not forget, it doesn't take an 'openly' gay individual to start relationships with boys and men; even longtime married men can surprise you (as we've seen in State College).

    August 9, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  16. Scott

    Don't care what he thinks... It's none of his business ........period!

    August 9, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  17. susan

    It's so nice that Obama had his ah-ha moment about the LGBT community, just in time for the 2012 re-election campaign. Regardless of whether or not he deserves re-election (I think he does), does he not see that this move looks calculated and hollow?

    August 9, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  18. Super Gus

    This President has opposed the Boy Scouts from day one. When the scouts celebrated their 100 year anniversary, the POTUS didn't bother to join the celebration. It was more important to be with Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and the liberal ilk at the "View".

    August 9, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  19. 2tor

    Anything for cheap points.

    August 9, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  20. Odumbo

    Don't need perverts in the boy scouts.

    August 9, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  21. dd214

    The invasive perversity, cloaked as "fairness", of homosexuals and their bullying tactics by pimping the judiciary is beyond unethical, immoral, hidious, nefarious, and pernicious. Obama's support of them underscores his lack of understanding and tolerance of others who do not embrace his agenda. Homosexuals are a perversity of nature, a vanity of self indulgent sexual gratification that destroys nations. They rip apart the basic fundementals upon which civilizations are built, and have only their selfish desires to fulfill. They may put on an acceptable front, but bottom line is they are always a cancer that destroys nations. When a man and woman get married and have a family they create the basic unit of a civilization. When a man and a man start a homosexual relationship, or a woman and a woman, they no longer provide that basic unit through their perversity. The idea that one should not hate such an act, is stupifiying. The idea that there are "hate laws" is even more ignorant. Legislating this was the death knell of freedom, no one is free that cannot allow one to disagree with or hate another, while trying to force an acceptance through judiciary and legislative usurpations. Your bedroom is yours to do what you want, but this country was not founded on the perverse nature of homosexuality. The "progress" of this is horrifically detrimental to the welfare and wellbeing of a nation, it makes it weak and open to destruction. How you ask? The erroding of the founding morals and virutes, the strengths that made our nation great, the destruction and perversion of these principles by undermining the basic substance that kept them strong. Lust, greed, gluttony, wrath, avarice, sloth, and pride, these are main guiding principles behind and motivating the homosexual agenda.

    August 9, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  22. Jim McDonald

    People forget that obama appointed a pervert and likely pedophile, Kevin Jennings, as director of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.

    August 9, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  23. Sailor101

    "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?"

    They are not doing that at all, they are just saying "go play someplace else" no harm no foul! GLAAD get over yourselves!

    August 9, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  24. Patrick

    Since he's their honorary President he should just change the policy himself.

    August 9, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  25. Alex

    Anything to get some votes, right?

    August 9, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
1 2 3 4 5