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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 24, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 21
Scouts approve change to anti-Gay policy
Section One
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Scouts approve change to anti-Gay policy

Leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have voted to repeal the organization's decades-long policy barring openly Gay youth from membership. Openly Gay Scoutmasters, however, are still not permitted.

More than 1,400 volunteer leaders nationwide voted May 23 to approve language that said no prospective Scout henceforth would be turned away 'on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.' The vote, announced just before this issue of SGN went to press, reportedly was over 60% in favor of the change.

Many conservative parents and groups had agitated against the move, threatening to leave the BSA if its strict anti-Gay policy were modified. But a growing number of Scout troops around the country had welcomed Gay youth despite the ban, reflecting a broader national trend toward acceptance of sexual minorities.

ADULT BAN REMAINS
The question of whether to allow openly Gay adult leaders in Scouting was not addressed by Thursday's vote. LGBT rights advocates pledged to keep up the pressure on the BSA to resolve the issue.

'We'll continue urging corporate donors and public officials to withhold their support' from the BSA until the leadership policy is changed, said Richard Ferraro, GLAAD's vice president for communications.

Many corporations and philanthropic groups, including the UPS Foundation, Merck, the Intel Foundation, and local United Way chapters, have withdrawn their financial support for the BSA, saying its ban on Gay members violates their own nondiscrimination guidelines.

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