LGBT Rights continues to expand as the Boy Scouts of America has decided to lift its long-time ban on allowing gay male members into their organization.
The Boy Scouts of America voted Monday to lift a long-established ban on gay adults as employees and volunteers within the organization.
The BSA’s full executive board voted 45 to 12 in favor of the change, effective immediately. The vote came after the National Executive Committee unanimously approved a resolution earlier this month stating that “no adult applicant for registration as an employee or non-unit-serving volunteer, who otherwise meets the requirements of the Boy Scouts of America, may be denied registration on the basis of sexual orientation.”
BSA President Robert Gates, the former secretary of defense, had called for an end to the ban.
“For far too long, this issue has divided and distracted us,” Gates said in a video released Monday. “Now it’s time to unite behind our shared belief in the extraordinary power of scouting to be a force for good in the community and in the lives of its youth members.”
The resolution, which allows previously removed leaders to reapply for their positions, lifts the BSA’s across-the-board ban on gay leaders, but allows religiously affiliated troops to determine their own policies regarding LGBT adults, as scout units are chartered by other non-profits to which the BSA licenses its intellectual property.
“Finally, hardworking and devoted gay adult leaders can serve openly and honestly in Scouting without fear of rejection or retribution,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of the advocacy group GLAAD. “Today’s historic vote will strengthen Scouting and sends a message of acceptance that will resonate for years to come, as future Scout leaders are judged by their ability to lead and not their sexual orientation.”