Critics of the Scouts who are outraged that the group is allowed to exclude gays and atheists while receiving federal funding are urging Obama to reject the group’s honorary presidency, a designation bestowed on every U.S. president since William Howard Taft in 1910.
“I’m hoping and praying he turns down the honorary presidency,” said Howard Menzer, president of Scouting for All, which advocates for inclusion of gays into the Boy Scouts.
“No way should he be involved with a discriminatory group. That would be the best thing that could happen if he said, ‘You discriminate too much for me. I can’t be your honorary president.’ I think that might begin to change a few things.”
Obama was meeting with a delegation of the Boy Scouts in the Oval Office on Tuesday afternoon, at which time he was to accept the group’s 2008 Report to the Nation.
A Boy Scouts spokesman said Obama has indicated he will accept the title of honorary president.