Republican presidential candidate Scott
Walker on Wednesday expanded on his comments regarding the Boy Scouts
of America's (BSA) ban on gay adults.
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.
Scouts of America committee approves resolution ending ban on gay
Walker, who on Monday became the 15th
candidate vying for the Republican presidential nomination, told
conservative website The Independent Journal Review that he
“supports the previous membership policy.”
“I was an Eagle Scout. My kids have
been involved. Tonette [Walker] was a den mother,” Walker
“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.
At a press conference in South
Carolina, Walker said that his remarks were not aimed at gay people.
“The protection was not a physical
protection,” Walker said, but rather about “protecting them from
being involved in the very thing you're talking about right now, the
political and media discussion about it, instead of just focusing on
what Scouts is about, which is about camping and citizenship and
things of that nature.”
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, was among those who condemned
Walker's original remarks.
“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.”