Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and one of the world's richest men, has a message for the Boy Scouts of America: Lift the gay ban, already.
Speaking at Politico's inaugural Playbook Cocktails interview series in Washington, D.C., Gates said he had enjoyed being a Scout. On stage with Politico D.C. bureau chief Mike Allen, Gates recalled learning "how to tie knots, how to weave baskets, how to hike long distances without complaining too much."
When Allen turned the conversation to the organization's ban on gay members and leaders, Gates said the policy "absolutely" needed to be scrapped.
"Why," prodded Allen.
"Because it's 2013," Gates replied, prompting a spontaneous burst of boisterous applause from the audience.
ThinkProgress notes that Gates has shown his support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality measures in the past, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars toward the Washington state marriage equality campaign.
The Boy Scouts has come under increasing fire lately for its longstanding ban on gay members, with poll numbers and a host of celebrities lending support to the cause.
This week, the organization distributed 1.1 million questionnaires to its adult Scouts to determine their opinions on the issue, according to the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, both Train and "Call Me Maybe" sensation Carly Rae Jepsen have said they will not headline the 2013 National Scout Jamboree in July if the policy isn't changed before then.
The Boy Scouts of America are not under have any legal obligation to change their policy, however. In 2000 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the organization is exempt from state anti-gay discrimination laws.