Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, who also happens to have been in the Boy Scouts, thinks the Boy Scouts of America should end its ban on gay members and leaders. He said so, quite matter-of-factly, at a Politico event in Washington D.C. this week.
When asked what he learned from scouting, Gates said, "How to tie knots, how to weave baskets, how to hike long distances without complaining too much, how to cook food in rainy, drizzly mountain places where we carried the food in twenty miles. It was fun."
When asked which of those things he still does, he said he still ties knots every once in a while. "I haven't weaved any baskets recently," he admits, noting that he does go hiking with his kids.
When asked if the Boy Scouts should rescind its ban on gay members and leaders, Gates said, "Absolutely. Because it's 2013."
That got a lot of applause. Here's the video:
Gates' comments are getting quite a bit of attention, and perhaps his influence will have an impact on the Scouts' position going forward. We'll see. The organization has been polling members on their "attitudes" toward gay people.