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.
— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) July 15, 2015