There is one social issue on which Mitt Romney is more liberal than President Obama — that of urging the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to accept gay scouts.
Mr. Romney said in 1994 that while it was up to BSA to set its own policy, he thought the scouts should allow gay boys in, and this week his campaign reaffirmed that stance to the Associated Press. The 1994 comments came as he was running to unseat then-Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in Massachusetts.
“I support the right of the Boy Scouts of America to decide what it wants to do on that issue. I feel that all people should be able to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation,” Mr. Romney said during a debate at the time.
Now Scouts for Equality, a group pushing for the national scouting group to allow gay boys to join, said it’s time for Mr. Obama — who as president is the honorary president of the scouts — to take the same stand.
“I’m happy to hear that Mitt Romney’s campaign confirmed his support for the participation of my family, and families like mine, in the Boy Scouts of America,” said Jennifer Tyrrell, a former cub scout den leader who is lesbian, said in a statement. “I think President Obama should also let the public know what he thinks about a cultural institution like the Boy Scouts banning gay Americans.”
Ms. Tyrell, who was dismissed as a den leader, is leading a petition drive to try to get BSA to change its policy to allow gay scouts and scout leaders. After a two-year review, BSA leaders announced last month that they would not change longstanding policies against openly gay scouts and adult scout leaders.