President Obama reaffirmed that he believes the Boy Scouts of America should admit openly gay members just days before the organization is slated to vote on whether to lift its gay ban.
In a live interview that aired Sunday on CBS News just before Super Bowl XLVII, Obama said “yes” when asked by anchor Scott Pelley if the Boy Scouts should be open to gays.
“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 added after bring asked to elaborate.
Obama continued, “And 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 that nobody should be barred for that.”
It’s not the first time Obama has articulated the view that gays should be admitted into the Boy Scouts. In August, Obama came out against the ban through a White House spokesperson during the presidential election. It was just days after the campaign for Mitt Romney said the Republican candidate holds the same view that he had in 1994, which has been interpreted to mean that he opposes the ban.
The Boy Scouts executive board is expected to vote Wednesday, last day of a three-day meeting, on whether to lift the ban on gay youth and adult members. The organization reaffirmed its ban after a similar review last year.
One option the group has articulated is ending its national ban on gays, but allowing local chapters to decide on whether to institute their own bans. That option has been criticized by the Human Rights Campaign, which has said the Boy Scouts must ensure open membership for all chapters.
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