Ellen DeGeneres is the latest celebrity to urge the Boy Scouts of America to change its anti-gay policy.

The lesbian comedienne criticised the organisation during her daytime talk show this week for delaying a vote on ending a ban on gay members and leaders.

Yesterday, she said: “If the Boy Scouts start treating gays equally, they’re going to become the first group to do it — after the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, the Coast Guard, all of the United Kingdom and Cher,” DeGeneres quipped on an episode of her daytime talk show this week. “They won’t let their members be gay, or openly gay, anyway, but they’re letting them wear neckerchiefs and green short shorts!”

Ellen also recalled her own days as a Girl Scout as well as the case of Ryan Andresen, the 18-year-old who appeared on her show last year, having been denied the coveted Eagle Scout award because he is openly gay.

“The more that we teach people how to accept people for who they are, the more self-confident they’ll be and the better leaders they’ll become,” she said.