Just a little over two years ago, the Boy Scouts of America voted to end the ban on gay Scouts. Now, the organization dedicated to teaching young boys values like good citizenship and self-reliance has voted to end their ban on gay adult troop leaders too.
On Monday (July 13), word came down that the Executive Committee of the BSA had unanimously passed the resolution.
"This resolution will allow chartered organizations to select adult leaders without regard to sexual orientation, continuing Scouting’s longstanding policy of chartered organizations selecting their leaders," the organization said in a statement. The Boy Scouts National Executive Board will meet to ratify the resolution on July 27.
In May of this year, the organization's president (and former U.S. Secretary of Defense), Robert Gates, called for an end to practice of discriminating against gay adult troop leaders. This resolution is the result of that call.
If it's approved at the end of the month, each troop will be able to elect leaders "without regard to sexual orientation." But that latitude also means specific groups may still refuse to allow gay troop leaders to participate on religious grounds.
“For decades, the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay adults has stood as a towering example of explicit, institutional homophobia in one of America’s most important and recognizable civic organizations, said Zach Wahls, the co-founder and executive director of Scouts for Equality in a statement. "While this policy change is not perfect -- BSA’s religious chartering partners will be allowed to continue to discriminate against gay adults -- it is difficult to overstate the importance of today’s announcement."
“Scouting will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth to help them grow into good,
strong citizens," the BSA's statement on the resolution concludes. "By focusing on the goals that unite us, we are able to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve.”