The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) took a step into the 21st century by approving a resolution that reads: “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.” And it did so with 61.4 percent of the 1,400 members who voted. In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled that the organization could block gays from becoming scouts. Today, the BSA proactively voted to drop its discriminatory ban.
What wasn’t addressed was the prohibition on openly gay Scout leaders. As things stand with the new rules, the gay scouts who come out or who join will be drummed out of the BSA once they become adults. GLAAD spokesman Rich Ferraro sounded a hopeful note when he said that today’s vote is “a clear indication that the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay adult leaders will also inevitably end.” It must. The BSA has set up an untenable situation that cannot stand.
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