Boy Scouts president: Organization to ‘set our own course’ on gay leaders

The Boy Scouts of America’s executive board voted Monday to lift a ban on openly gay leaders and employees, though there are a few caveats.

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By an overwhelming vote—79 percent voted in favor—the Boy Scouts of America’s executive committee voted Monday to end its national ban on openly gay leaders and employees.

The organization’s press release notes a few qualifications, however. Local chapters, many of which are run by religious organizations, will continue to have complete control over whom they choose to be adult leaders. The release states:

This change allows Scouting’s members and parents to select local units, chartered to organizations with similar beliefs, that best meet the needs of their families. This change also respects the right of religious chartered organizations to choose adult volunteer leaders whose beliefs are consistent with their own.

In a video statement about the change, BSA President Robert Gates reiterated those caveats and explained some of the reasoning behind the vote.

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