Presidential candidate and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said on Tuesday that the longstanding ban on gay troop leaders by the Boy Scouts of America had “protected children.”
From Walker’s statement:
I have had a lifelong commitment to the Scouts and support the previous membership policy because it protected children and advanced Scout values.
Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT rights group, spoke out against Walker’s comments in a statement issued Tuesday.
According to Griffin, “His comments imply that we represent a threat to the safety and well-being of young people…. If Scott Walker is trying to get his merit badge in being shamefully irresponsible, he just earned it with flying colors.”
Walker has referred to his service as an Eagle Scout in campaign speeches. In March, he even suggested to an audience at the Chamber of Commerce in Phoenix that this experience had prepared him to be commander-in-chief. Walker’s wife, Tonette, also served as a den mother for the organization.
The Boy Scouts voted to allow openly gay youths to join the organization in March 2013, and the policy went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014.