Boys Scouts change policy to allow Gay scouts; Ban on Gay scout leaders still in place

The Boy Scouts of America will now permit openly gay scouts into their organization due to a new change on policy passed today by BSA, but the organization will still ban gay scout leaders.

The Washington Post has more details here. The new policy goes into effect on January 1, 2014.

From the story:

The immediate impact of the policy change,  endorsed by more than 60 percent of the organization’s 1,400  voting members,  is hard to predict.

Some of the Scouts’ largest stakeholders, including the Mormon and Catholic churches, reiterated in recent weeks their opposition to same-sex relationships, but some appeared open to staying in Scouting with a wait-and-see approach as a way to keep youth — including gay youth — involved in a popular, wholesome program.

But some individual troops  said they’d leave and earlier Scout research has predicted many exits. The bishop of the Catholic diocese of Arlington, in Northern Virginia, issued a statement Thursday evening saying the vote “would likely force us to reconsider” staying in scouting.

The vote of the century-old, faith-based group symbolizes just how quickly many Americans’ views on homosexuality are changing. Just last summer the Scouts reaffirmed its desire to keep out openly gay boys and adult volunteers, a policy the Supreme Court upheld in 2000. But the escalating pressure from families and major donors in the past year forced the Scouts to act.

The fact that the decision came on Harvey Milk Day wasn’t lost on those in the LGBT Community. It is also notable that for the first time in Orange County history, the OC Board of Supervisors has issued a a resolution proclaiming May 23, 2013 as Harvey Milk Day in Orange County. Read more in the following Voice of OC story.

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