Philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, has said an interview that the Boy Scouts of America should “absolutely” lift its ban on gay volunteers, members and staff.

In the video, posted by ABC news, the billionaire philanthropist is asked what he learned from being in the Boy Scouts himself when he was younger, to which he jokingly responds by listing skills learned.

He says: “How to tie knots. How to weave baskets. How to hike long distances without complaining too much. How to cook food in rainy, drizzly places where we carried the food in 20 miles.”

When asked by interviewer Politico’s Washington DC bureau chief, Mike Allen whether the Boy Scouts of America should lift its ban, he quickly responds: “Absolutely.”

When asked why, he simply responds: “Because it’s 2013,” to which the audience gives a rapturous applause.

The national Boy Scouts of Americas board previously postponed from making a decision, but is meeting in May, and is expected to decide on the policy then. It is considering lifting its national ban on allowing gay volunteers, members and staff, which would effectively allow individual scout troops to decide on whether to be inclusive or not.

A rally recently delivered a petition with 1.4 million signatures pushing for the Boy Scouts of America to drop its ban. 

Last year, Bill Gates, and his wife Melinda, personally gave $500,000 (£313,000) towards efforts to legalise equal marriage in the state of Washington, pushing the total raised by equal rights advocates to $10.8 million (£6.7 million).

Back in 2007, The billionaire co-founder of Microsoft teamed up with the Canadian government to fund the development of an AIDS vaccine. He pledged up to $24 million (£16 million).

Earlier this week, Microsoft released a television advert for their Outlook.com campaign which includes a scene of two women getting married.