The Boy Scouts ban on gays which has increasingly seemed out of step with their own values (let alone the general public’s perception) has been the subject of much scrutiny and the butt of many jokes. Ellen DeGeneres perhaps put it best when she said on her popular TV show earlier this year, “…they won’t let their members be gay or openly gay anyway, but they’re letting them wear neckerchiefs and green short shorts?”
However, it is entrepreneur and philanthropist, Bill Gates, a former Boy Scout, who put it best when he was asked earlier this week at the first installment of Politico’s new interview series, Playbook Cocktails, if he believed the organization should move forward with lifting the ban on gay members.
“Because it’s 2013.”
Bill and Melinda Gates (as well as the company he founded, Microsoft) have long been supporters of LGBT rights, but I never have taken his stalwart support for granted and neither should you. While Ellen can woo America (and thank God she does), business leaders like Gates and others have made being gay okay in corporate America and we owe them a debt for their support. They have done more to advance and protect LGBT rights in the workforce than they get credit for. Keep in mind that you may be fired if you are gay in 29 states in this country. So whether it is regarding a Boy Scouts ban or legislation that allows discrimination, I’d like to point out I’m fed up with writing about these issues… “Because it’s 2013”.