It was reported in the Washington (DC) Blade that through a White House spokesperson, President Obama said he opposes the ban on LGBT participation in the Boy Scouts of America. The ban was recently affirmed after a secret two year evaluation. The President made a point to say he would not resign as Honorary President of the BSA. Does staying as the honorary president undercut his opposition to the ban?
“The President believes the Boy Scouts is a valuable organization that has helped educate and build character in American boys for more than a century,” White House spokesperson Shin Inouye said in the statement. “He also opposes discrimination in all forms, and as such opposes this policy that discriminates on basis of sexual orientation.”
In a follow-up email, Inouye said Obama won’t resign or relinquish his position as honorary president of the Boy Scouts as result of this position.
Ever since the BSA was founded, the President of the United States has been given the title of Honorary President. This honor includes receiving an annual report at the White House from a group of scouts. When President Obama entered office in 2009, the American Humanist Association and eighteen other nontheistic organizations sent a letter and asked him not to accept the honorary title because of the BSA’s discrimination against atheists and agnostics.
The title is honorary with no real powers or responsibilities so why did the President not resign when his office issued the statement opposing the ban on LGBT people in the scouts?
Doesn’t keeping the honorary title undercut his opposition? Is he trying to have it both ways?
A friend of mine thought he was trying to change the BSA from within but like I said the title has no power or responsibility but it is a strong symbol.
Resigning would send a big signal to the BSA and the country that the ban is not acceptable. It would be seen as big statement as when Steven Spielberg, an Eagle Scout and a long-time supporter of Scouting, resigned from the advisory board in 2001.
President Obama missed a prime opportunity on the scale of his statement supporting same-sex marriage back in May.