Obama votes “present” on the Boy Scouts

President Obama has declared his opposition to the Boy Scouts of America’s policy of excluding homosexuals. The White House issued the following statement:

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. He also opposes discrimination in all forms, and as such opposes this policy that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.

That’s a respectable position to take, it seems to me. But the problem is that Obama serves as honorary president of the Scouts. And, according to a White House spokesman, he has no plans to resign that position.

Isn’t that gutless? If I were the president, or even a member, of a group I thought was practicing improper discrimination, I’m pretty sure I would resign.

Obama is a politician, of course, but he takes such gutlessness to a level that exceeds even what we would expect from this breed. Recall how he voted “present” on controversial measures in the Illinois legislature. That’s basically what he’s doing here, only more ostentatiously.

Where does Mitt Romney stand on this issue? In 1994, as a candidate for the Senate, Romney said, “I feel that all people should be able to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation.” However, he also made it clear that “personally I support the right of the Boy Scouts of America to decide what it wants to do on that issue.”

This too is a respectable position and in fact it answers more questions than Obama’s statement. Does the president support the right of the Boy Scouts to decide what it wants to do on this issue? He doesn’t say.

Again, he votes present.


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