NEW YORK – When it comes to gays and the Boy Scouts, President Obama and the youth organization he serves as honorary president have agreed to disagree.
The White House on Wednesday said Obama opposes the youth organization’s recently reaffirmed policy of excluding gays as members and adult leaders. He has no plans to resign as honorary president, White House spokesman Shin Inouye said.
The Scouts said in a statement that they respect Obama’s opinion and believe that “good people” can disagree on the subject and still work together to “accomplish the common good.”
American presidents have been honorary presidents of the Boy Scouts for a century. Obama became the Scouts’ honorary president in March 2009, shortly after taking office
Last month, after a confidential two-year review, the Scouts reaffirmed their longstanding policy, which has been the target of numerous protest campaigns.
For three weeks, the White House didn’t comment on the Scouts’ decision. On Wednesday, the press office issued an email to The Associated Press on the subject.
“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,” the White House statement said. “He also opposes discrimination in all forms, and as such opposes this policy that discriminates on basis of sexual orientation.”
Obama’s Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, has not spoken publicly about the Boy Scouts’ policy in recent days.