Romney, Obama Agree: Boy Scouts’ Gay Ban Is Wrong

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Friday August 10, 2012

The Boy Scouts of America is remaining firm on its policy that prohibits gay people from joining the organization and a recent Associated Press article reported that Eagle Scouts, which is the BSA's highest rank, around the country are returning their medals over the BSA's controversial policy.

In a very interesting turn of events, the media now have latched onto a statement Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made in a 1994 debate in Massachusetts: "I support the right of the Boy Scouts of America to decide what it wants to do on that issue. I feel that all people should be able to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation."

Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for the Romney Campaign, told AP that Romney still stands by those remarks.

A video of the debate was released by GLAAD and shows Romney, who at the time was a national board member of the BSA, saying that sexual orientation should not be considered when joining the organization.

In the video, the former governor of Massachusetts says that, "the Boy Scouts of America does a wonderful service for this country." "I feel that all people should be allowed to participate in the Boy Scouts, regardless of their sexual orientation," Romney added.

Jennifer Tyrrell, who made headlines when was ousted as a Cub Scout den leader because she is a lesbian, said she is pleased that Romney stood behind his statements.

"I'm happy to hear that Mitt Romney's campaign confirmed his support for the participation of my family, and families like mine, in the Boy Scouts of America," Tyrrell, who has petitioned for the BSA to removed the controversial policy, said. "I think President Obama should also let the public know what he thinks about a cultural institution like the Boy Scouts banning gay Americans."

AP pointed out in the same article that, although President Obama endorses same-sex marriage, he has yet to make a public statement regarding the Scout's anti-gay policy -- something conservative publications are stressing.

Except that now he has. In a statement to the Washington Blade, a White House spokesperson, Shin Inouye, made a clear and definitive statement.

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

"There is one social issue on which Mitt Romney is more liberal than President Obama," the Washington Times article reads.

When the websites Life Site News and Free Republic reported the story, a number of readers strongly reacted, which prompted them to leave comments.

"I can't stand Romney. We MUST send as many conservatives as possible to D.C. Obama or Romney, neither of them are on our side. But conservatives on the Hill can mitigate the damage either of these two clowns are capable of," one person wrote on Free Republic.

"Another presidential candidate hugging the middle rail in a vain, pandering attempts to attract the homosexual vote and appear as a moderate to independent voters. Romney is having a difficult time firing up his own base and this sure won't help him," a Life Site News reader commented.

Watch the video of the debate below: