US presidential candidate Mitt Romney is against many gay rights measures, but he does back the right of gay people to join the Scouts.

In 1994, he said that while the Boy Scouts of American should be free to set its own policies, he agreed that it should allow gay people to be members, staff and volunteers.

“I support the right of the Boy Scouts of America to decide what it wants to do on that issue. I feel that all people should be able to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation,” Mr. Romney said during a debate at the time.

His campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul told AP this week that the view “remains Romney’s position today.”

The Boy Scouts of America announced last month that it will retain its ban on gay members, volunteers and staff.

As a private organisation, the Boy Scouts of America has adopted positions since 1991 which state that homosexuality is “inconsistent with the Scout Oath that a Scout be morally straight and in the Scout Law that a Scout be clean in word and deed.