Attorney General Eric Holder criticizes the Boy Scouts’ ban on openly gay leaders. (x)
Attorney General Eric Holder did not hold back when voicing his opinion on the Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday. Holder said the organization encourages “the worst stereotypes” by banning openly gay adults from becoming Scout leaders.
Speaking to the gay civil rights group Lambda Legal in Washington, Holden said, “The continuation of a policy that discriminates against gay adult leaders — by an iconic American institution — only preserves and perpetuates the worst kind of stereotypes.”
“We recognize there are many opinions on these matters,” said Boy Scouts spokesman Deron Smith in response to Holder’s statement. “The Boy Scouts of America believes that to disagree does not mean to disrespect; we remain focused on delivering the nation’s foremost youth development program.”
Holder called the policy “a relic of an age of prejudice and insufficient understanding.” He went on to say, “Today, courageous lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals routinely put their lives on the line as members of America’s armed services. They inspire us, they protect us, and they defend us. And if these men and women are fit for military service, then surely they are fit to mentor, to teach and to serve as role models for the leaders of future generations.”
Holder hasn’t announced any legal action against the Boy Scouts. According to a Supreme Court ruling 14 years ago, the Boy Scouts had a right to discriminate against gay people as a private entity. The Scouts changed their policy last year, allowing openly gay youth to become members. However, their ban on openly gay leaders remains intact. President Obama has also openly criticized the Scouts for their policy.