Madonna appeared at the GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Awards on Saturday, March 16, in a Cub Scout uniform to call on the organization to lift its ban on gay people. The Cub Scouts are part of Boy Scouts of America.
At the event, Madonna presented Anderson Cooper with Vito Russo Award, which honors openly gay media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality. She also kissed the popular broadcaster and TV host onstage.
"I wanted to be a Boy Scout, but they wouldn't let me join. I think that's f**ked up. I can build a fire. I know how to pitch a tent. I have a very good sense of direction. I can rescue kittens from trees. Listen, I wanna do good for the community," she joked before handing out the award. "I think I should be allowed to be allowed to be a Boy Scout. I think they should change their stupid rules."
The 52-year-old singer got serious as she talked about the conflicts in the world and of the bullying of young gay, lesbian and transgender people. "When I think about young kids in America who are being bullied and tortured, I want to sit down and cry a river of tears," Madonna said. Noting that she has teen children herself, she said, "It's an atrocity to me. I don't accept it."
Later, Madonna welcomed Cooper to stage to present the 45-year-old man, who confirmed in 2012 that he was gay, with Vito Russo Award. Accepting his award, Cooper said, "I am only here tonight because I've benefited from what they and so many others have done... Being gay is certainly one of the greatest blessings, it opened my head and heart in ways that I never could have predicted."
Boy Scout of America is one of the largest private youth organizations in the United States which prohibits atheists, agnostics and "open or avowed" homosexual people from membership in its Scouting program as directly violating its fundamental principles and tenets. The organization has denied or revoked membership status or leadership positions for violation of these foundational principles.