The Boy Scouts of America has lifted its controversial ban on gay youth members, however openly gay adult leaders have yet to see the light at the end of a long road.
According to the Washington Post, more than 1,400 volunteer leaders for across the country voted to change the policy of forbidding membership “on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”
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The decision came after years of criticism from gay rights advocates, who claimed the conservative group ignored changes in culture and the shifting beliefs of its members.
“The Boy Scouts of America will not sacrifice its mission, or the youth served by the movement, by allowing the organization to be consumed by a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue,” the organization said in statement said. “While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting.”
Although one ban had been lifted, the century-old group has yet to discontinue its restriction on gay adult volunteers.
Some conservative churches that sponsor Scout units wanted to continue excluding gay youths, in some cases threatening to defect if the ban were lifted. More liberal Scout leaders – while supporting the proposal to accept gay youth – have made clear they want the ban on gay adults lifted as well.
In an interview with the New York Times, gay rights group Glaad said their organization plans to put continuous pressure the scouts over its leadership issue.
“We’ll continue urging corporate donors and public officials to withhold their support,” said representative Richard Ferraro.
Although there is still more work to be done, the new youth policy will go into effect on January 1, 2014.
Beauties, do you think it’s morally right to ban leadership strictly on the basis of sexual orientation? Weigh in below.
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