Boy Scouts of America encouraged by Obama to end Gay discrimination
President Barack Obama on Sunday encouraged the Boy Scouts of America to end its ban on gay members and leaders, days before the group is expected to vote on the controversial and long-standing rule.
In an interview with CBS, anchor Scott Pelley asked the president if he believed scouting should be open to gays.
“Yes,” Obama said simply.
Asked to elaborate, Obama – who last year gave his backing to the right of same sex couples to marry – said gays and lesbians should be able to participate in “every institution” that others can.
“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,” he said.
“The Scouts are a great institution that are promoting young people and exposing them to, you know, opportunities and leadership that will serve people for the rest of their lives, and I think that nobody should be barred (from) that.”
After criticism from gay rights groups as well as gay former Scouts and Scout leaders, the BSA national executive board is expected to vote Wednesday, the last day of a three-day meeting, on whether to lift the ban it had reaffirmed just last year.
Overdue. Now that people in all walks of life have succeeded in pushing Obama forward on the issue of Gay civil rights, he’s sharp enough to keep pressing what has become a leading issue for Democrats.
Republicans have a real quandary trying to assuage the True Believers they count on to come out and vote for Republicans – while continuing to sell out Gay members of their own party.