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Obama opposes Boy Scouts’ ban on gay scouts, gay scout leaders

CHRIS JOHNSON | Washington Blade
Wednesday, August 8, 2012

President Obama opposes the recently affirmed Boy Scouts policy of banning gay members, according to a statement from the White House sent in response to a Washington Blade inquiry.

“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 spokesperson Shin Inouye said in the statement. “He also opposes discrimination in all forms, and as such opposes this policy that discriminates on basis of sexual orientation.”

Michael Key, Washington Blade

In a follow-up email, Inouye said Obama won’t resign or relinquish his position as honorary president of the Boy Scouts as result of this position.

The Boy Scouts of America affirmed its gay ban last month after a two-year review of the policy.

Deron Smith, a Boy Scouts spokesperson, said his organization respects the opinion of the president and believes good people can personally disagree on the issue.

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

Among the organizations working to lift the ban is the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which has been championing the issue after lesbian den leader Jennifer Tyrrell was expelled from the organization ostensibly because of her sexual orientation.

Herndon Graddick, GLAAD’s president, responded to the White House statement by saying numerous political leaders have come out against the ban prohibiting openly gay people from being in the Boy Scouts.

“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,” Graddick said. “It’s clear that this outdated policy will be changing in the future. 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?”

Continue reading at the Washington Blade

© Washington Blade. Reprinted by permission.

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17 more reader comments:

  1. It’s almost election time. He’s getting good at saying stuff.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 8:33pm
  2. That is awesome. All Americans deserve to be treated with dignity and respect!! :) Period!!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 8:35pm
  3. Good

    Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 8:36pm
  4. yes we deserve dignity and respect

    Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 8:39pm
  5. I can’t believe we have a president who stands up for us. I honestly never thought the day would come. It’s an amazing feeling for me, still.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 8:39pm
  6. Well there isn’t much to do. The supreme court (friggin’ idiot) up held there right since they are a “private” club. Maybe they should start a “gay” boy scouts of America?

    Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 8:40pm
  7. Maybe they should lose their tax exemption stats under the Supreme Court finding in Joe Brown University v. United States (1983).

    Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 8:41pm
  8. Yet they have allowed child molesters for years and years!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 8:43pm
  9. Of course it’s discriminatory, but aren’t there bigger things the president should be concerned about? Particularly Syria?

    Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 8:43pm
  10. pride comes in many forms yall! lets keep the support for the cause

    Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 8:46pm
  11. F*ck everyone who says Obama is “just saying this to get votes”. I believe he is being honest. I hope he gets re-elected :) No one should be banned from something they wanna do.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 8:48pm
  12. wow wish some of you would realize you don’t have to vote for a democrat to be accepted and loved for who you are.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 8:51pm
  13. “bigger things” is relative and subjective
    I’m concerned that this is an attempt to develop a hypothetical normative… if X is bigger, then he should not address Y
    …or an attempt to minimize the significance of Y within its constituency

    Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 8:53pm
  14. I’m sorry leave Syria alone and worry about our own damn country. Fix the idiots over here first

    Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 9:09pm
  15. thats good i am proud of him, but i wish he would let the people/community try to influence change and make change before he uses his power and money to do it

    Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 10:49pm
  16. As a child, I was beaten up and forced to leave the boy scouts because I was perceived to be gay. Thank you, President Obama.

    Posted on Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 2:37am
  17. Our President is helping to put a stop on unnecessary hatred which is detrimental to YOUR CHILD’S FUTURE and the future of this great country.

    Posted on Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 7:53am