History is being made as the Boy Scouts of America takes the first step to end its decades-old ban on gay Scout leaders.
Two years ago the Boy Scouts of America's 1400 member National Council voted to end its ban on gay Scouts, although the ban on gay Scout leaders remained in place.
That call was heeded, and put into motion.
"As a result of the rapid changes in society and increasing legal challenges at the federal, state, and local levels, on Friday, July 10, the Boy Scouts of America Executive Committee adopted a resolution amending the adult leadership standards policy. The resolution was unanimously adopted by those present and voting," a statement from the Boy Scouts of America reads.
The 105-year old organization's National Executive Board will meet later this month, on July 27, to vote on the resolution. If approved, it would become effective immediately, according to Zach Wahls, co-founder and executive director of Scouts for Equality.
"This resolution will allow chartered organizations to select adult leaders without regard to sexual orientation, continuing Scouting's longstanding policy of chartered organizations selecting their leaders," the Boy Scouts' statement adds.
Wahls notes the changes, if approved, would still allow "each individual troop or unit to determine its own policy regarding the eligibility of openly gay or bisexual scoutmasters or other adult leaders." It would also allow "previously removed leaders to reapply for their positions."
Wahls released a statement, noting that for "decades, the Boy Scouts of America's ban on gay adults has stood as a towering example of explicit, institutional homophobia in one of America's most important and recognizable civic organizations. While this policy change is not perfectâ€”BSA's religious chartering partners will be allowed to continue to discriminate against gay adultsâ€”it is difficult to overstate the importance of today's announcement."
"The BSA has explicitly cited the work of Scouts for Equality members Pascal Tessier, an openly gay Eagle Scout working at a Boy Scouts summer camp in New York state, Yasmin Cassini, a lesbian woman from Colorado who was denied employment on the basis of her sexual orientation, and Brian Peffly, an openly gay Eagle Scout who until recently served as an assistant Scoutmaster in central Ohio. I could not be more proud of, or grateful for, the courage, strength, and dedication to the values of Scouting as demonstrated by Pascal, Yasmin, and Brian."
The full resolution can be read here.
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