WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says the Boy Scouts of America should open its membership to gays and lesbians when its national executive board discusses the issue this week.
The President made his remarks Sunday before a national audience in a pre-Super Bowl interview appearing on CBS. A proposal to open up the Scouts’ membership to gays is expected to be discussed and possibly voted on at the gathering in Texas.
The Boy Scouts emphatically reaffirmed the no-gays policy just seven months ago, but announced last week they were considering changing the stance. Instead of mandatory exclusion of gays, the different religious and civic groups that sponsor Scout units would be able to decide for themselves how to address the issue – either maintaining the exclusion or opening up their membership.
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The White House said in a statement last August that Obama opposed the gay ban.
Obama, like presidents for the last century, serves as honorary president of the group. The president’s comment Sunday was his first since the group announced it was considering a policy change.
“My attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does in every institution and walk of life,” Obama said.
“The Scouts are a great institution that are promoting young people and exposing them to opportunities and leadership that will serve people for the rest of their lives. And I think nobody should be barred from that.”
Watch (skip to 1:23 mark for Obama’s remarks on the Boy Scouts):
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