Republican presidential candidate, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, speaks at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa on July 18, 2015.
Nati Harnik—AP
July 19, 2015 11:20 AM EDT

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry said Sunday that he still opposes openly gay leaders in the Boy Scouts of America, even as the organization has moved to change a policy that banned such leaders.

“I believe that Scouting would be better off if they didn’t have openly gay Scoutmasters,” the GOP presidential candidate said on Meet the Press Sunday.

The Boy Scouts changed a policy banning gay scouts in 2013. After taking the helm of the organization last year, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates called for the organization to drop the ban on gay leaders as well. Earlier this month, the Boy Scouts executive committee voted to do just that.

Perry, who wrote a book about the Boy Scouts last year, isn’t the only GOP presidential candidate to support the ban. In a statement earlier in the week, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said the BSA should keep the ban on openly gay leaders, but in an interview with CNN he backtracked.

“I thought the policy was just fine. I’m saying when I was in Scouts, it was fine. You’re asking what should the policy be going forward. It should be left up to the leaders of the Scouts,” he said.

Both Walker and Perry are Eagle Scouts and cite their achievement in campaign materials.

Read Next: Rick Perry Cites His Eagle Scout Rank on Campaign Trail

Write to Justin Worland at

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