Mitt Romney urged Boy Scouts to accept gays in 1994

GLAAD unearths video from presumptive Republican nominee's more moderate days to help current debate

Mitt Romney urged Boy Scouts to accept gays in 1994
26 April 2012

After winning five state primaries this week, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney gave a speech that focused on the economy and did not touch on social issues.

Earlier in the race, the candidate has spoken out against gay marriage and made statements that retiring US Congressman Barney Frank this week called 'despicable.'

But with the nomination in the bag, Romney is not likely to engage in the same level of anti-gay rhetoric or weigh in on such issues such as the current debate over Jennifer Tyrrell, the Ohio mom removed as den leader of her son's scout troop because she is a lesbian.

So the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation unearthed video of comments Romney made about the Boy Scouts of America during his 1994 US Senate campaign against Ted Kennedy.

Romney, a member of the executive board of the Boy Scouts of America, was asked at a debate to weigh in on the organization's policy against allowing gays as members.

'I believe that the Boy Scouts of America does a wonderful service for this country,' he said then. '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.'

Romney's statement then echoes the opinion of more 146,000 people who have signed Tyrrell's petition on Change.org calling the scouts to end its pattern of discrimination against both gay youth and LGBT families.

The candidate has not remarked on the current BSA controversy since it surfaced last week.

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