President Obama is opposed to the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay members, volunteers and staff, his spokesman said today.

Speaking to the Washington Blade, White House spokesman Shin Inouye said: “The President believes the Boy Scouts is a valuable organisation that has helped educate and build character in American boys for more than a century.

“He also opposes discrimination in all forms, and as such opposes this policy that discriminates on basis of sexual orientation.”

Mr Obama is the honorary president of the Boy Scouts but Mr Inouye said he would not resign over his view.

The Scout group recently decided to maintain its ban on gay members, despite a campaign asking it to accept them.

Meanwhile, US presidential candidate Mitt Romney backs the right of gay people to join the Scouts, despite his many pronouncements against gay rights.

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.”