Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has endorsed the Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) ban on gay adults.

Walker, who on Monday became the 15th candidate vying for the Republican presidential nomination, said that the ban “protected children.”

“I was an Eagle Scout. My kids have been involved. Tonette [Walker] was a den mother,” Walker said.

“I have had a lifelong commitment to the Scouts and support the previous membership policy because it protected children and advanced Scout values,” he added.

A proposal to allow gay adults to serve as employees and troop leaders advanced this week with a unanimous vote by the BSA's National Executive Committee.

(Related: Boy Scouts of America committee approves resolution ending ban on gay adults.)

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, called Walker's comments “offensive.”

“Scott Walker's suggestion that the Boy Scouts of America's current discriminatory policy somehow 'protects' children from gay adults is offensive, outrageous, and absolutely unacceptable,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “His comments imply that we represent a threat to the safety and well-being of young people. For a sitting governor and presidential candidate to make such a disgraceful claim is unconscionable. If Scott Walker is trying to get his merit badge in being shamefully irresponsible, he just earned it with flying colors.”