Boy Scouts of America should allow gay members, says Obama

President Obama called Sunday for the Boy Scouts of America to open its ranks to those who are gay.

Asked in a pre-Super Bowl interview if he thought the group should end its ban on gay scout leaders and members, Obama responded with a direct, “Yes.”

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“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 said.

Boy Scouts leaders are considering a vote this week on whether to change the group's long-standing policy.

Obama made equal rights for gays and lesbians a central part of his second inaugural address last month, becoming the first president ever to discuss gay rights in an inaugural speech.

“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” Obama said after taking the ceremonial oath of office.


During his first term, Obama also became the first sitting president to back same-sex marriage and formally ended the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

The Boy Scouts' decision to revisit the ban has attracted criticism from one prominent GOP leader, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, himself an Eagle Scout.

Perry on Saturday spoke out against lifting the ban. “I think most people see absolutely no reason to change the position and neither do I,” he said, according to a report in The Dallas Morning News.