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Spielberg Quits Scout Post Over Anti-Gay Policy

April 17, 2001|From Associated Press

Director Steven Spielberg said Monday that he is quitting the advisory board of the Boy Scouts of America because the organization excludes gay members and leaders.

"The last few years in Scouting have deeply saddened me to see the Boy Scouts of America actively and publicly participating in discrimination. It's a real shame," Spielberg said in a statement.

The Oscar-winning producer and director, who gained the Scouts' highest honor of Eagle Scout, has been a member of the advisory board for about 10 years, said his publicist, Marvin Levy.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts' national policy banning gay members and leaders is constitutional. The court cited the right to freedom of association granted to private groups.

Although he was on the advisory board, Spielberg did not have an active role with the Scouts, Levy said.

Spielberg, who has made financial contributions to the Scouts, said he will continue to encourage the group to "end this intolerance and discrimination once and for all."

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