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Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Romney in 1994: Gay People Should Be Able To Serve In Boy Scouts

Oh those pesky videos. All-but-nominated GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s unending flip-flops and pandering to get a vote comes back to bite him in the butt again. Back in 1994, in a U.S. Senate race debate, he was asked about the Boy Scouts policy of discrimination against openly gay Scouts or Scoutmasters.

“I believe that the Boy Scouts of America does a wonderful service for this country. 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.”

This was GLAAD’s reaction:

Romney’s statement echoes the opinion of over 146,000 Americans who have joined Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell’s action calling on the Boy Scouts of America to end its long history of discrimination against LGBT people. Tyrrell was ousted as scout leader of her 7-year-old son’s boy scouts troop because she’s gay.

Supporters can join Tyrrell’s call here: A video of Jen sharing her story at the GLAAD Media Awards is available here: Celebrities including Josh Hutcherson, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, as well as Glee stars Max Adler and Grant Gustin also showed support for Tyrrell and her family at the GLAAD Media Awards.

“The only ‘character development’ and ‘values-based leadership training’ the Boy Scouts have taught our young people in this case is that blatant discrimination is OK. Tossing aside the hard work and leadership of a committed mom because of who she loves is not a ‘value’ that a majority Americans want taught to their children.”

–GLAAD President Herndon Graddick

Among service organizations, the Boy Scouts are increasingly isolating themselves with their prohibition on gay youth and leaders. Organizations including the Girl Scouts of America, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as well as the 4H Club all welcome gay kids as well as adult leaders. And just this month, the president of the James Beard Foundation announced that she would rescind her acceptance of the Boy Scouts’ Distinguished Citizen Award, noting the Scouts’ policy prohibiting gay people from service and leadership.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding