Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Ban on Gay Leaders in the Boy Scouts is Done


The Boy Scouts of America has dropped their ban on gay leaders yesterday.

Buzzfeed reports
Monday’s vote of the executive board followed a unanimous executive committee vote earlier in July recommending the end to the ban. The unanimity was possible due to the fact that the policy change also allowed individually chartered troops — many of which are backed by churches — to continue the ban. Additionally, the recommended policy noted that the national Boy Scouts organization would back any legal challenges faced by any such troop. The committee vote itself followed a speech in May by the president of the Boy Scouts — former Defense Secretary Robert Gates — that the blanket ban “cannot be sustained.” A month earlier, the Greater New York Councils had hired an out gay man, Pascal Tessier, to serve as a leader at its scout camps this summer — a fact noted by Gates in his speech.
Tessier has been a part of the changing face of the Boy Scouts, having been one of the first known out gay teens to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout — the organization’s highest rank — after the Boy Scouts ended its ban on gay youth members in 2013.
One of the groups Tessier has worked with is Scouts for Equality, a group aimed at ending the ban.
 
“This vote marks the beginning of a new chapter for the Boy Scouts of America. Tens of thousands of people came together because they wanted to build a better future for the Boy Scouts of America, and that future starts now. I couldn’t be more proud of the tireless work of our members, volunteers, and staff over these last three years,” Zach Wahls, the executive director of Scouts for Equality, said in a statement. “As of this vote, the Boy Scouts of America is an organization that is looking forward, not back.”
Watch Robert Gates' response

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