July 16, 2015 at 10:56 am EDT | by Chris Johnson
Walker seeks to recast anti-gay Boy Scouts remarks

Scott Walker, Republican Party, CPAC, Conservative Political Action Conference, Wisconsin, gay news, Washington Blade

Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) said the Boy Scouts’ gay ban “protected children.” (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Amid criticism for remarks in which he said the Boy Scouts’ gay ban “protected children,” Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker on Wednesday sought to recast his comments, saying he didn’t mean scouts need “physical protection” from gay people.

During a brief news conference in Lexington in South Carolina, Walker maintained he’s not pushing to save the ban on adults, saying “it’s up to the Boy Scouts,” and sought to clarify his earlier remarks about protecting scouts that invoked the ire of LGBT advocates, according to the New York Times.

“The protection was not a physical protection,” Walker is quoted as saying, but rather about “protecting them from being involved in the very thing you’re talking about right now, the political and media discussion about it, instead of just focusing on what Scouts is about, which is about camping and citizenship and things of that nature.”

The Boy Scouts already lifted in 2013 its ban on children who identify as gay from taking part in the organization, but on Monday the executive committee unanimously approved a resolution that would allow gay adults to serve as leaders. A final vote on the resolution is set for July 27.

The two-term Wisconsin governor was quoted Tuesday as making the controversial remarks about the proposed change in response to a question from the Independent Journal Review, a publication for millennials.

“I was an Eagle Scout, my kids have been involved, Tonette (Walker) was a den mother,” Walker reportedly. “I have had a lifelong commitment to the Scouts and support the previous membership policy because it protected children and advanced Scout values.”

Walker has a reputation for running for president in opposition to LGBT rights. Unlike other Republican candidates like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio, Walker has endorsed the idea of a U.S. constitutional amendment against the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage that would return the issue to the states.

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, had previously called on Walker to apologize for his remarks on the Boy Scouts and said via Twitter his attempt to recast his comment isn’t enough.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • “invoked the ire”? You mean *provoked* the ire?

  • The old BSA policy drummed gay kids out of the Scouts, teaching gay kids that they were considered worthless.
    It encouraged self-loathing among gay kids and bigotry among straight kids.
    It worked against the founding principles of the BSA, which originally encouraged youth to protect each other from abuse.
    Scott Walker enjoys breaking public employee unions and imagines himself capable of bullying America’s enemies.
    With his stance against gay Boy Scouts, he proves only that he is capable of beating up on children.

  • Scott Walker is Mitt Romney all over again. He’s such a classic flip flopper!

    He’s a weather vane whose political positions change endlessly. You can’t trust a person like him. He’ll say anything to get elected than backstab you later!

  • Governor Walker (if I presume I may call you that)?

    Your previous comments and actions have been noted, and this is not an apology, or correction, of your words from Monday.

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