Boy Scouts lift blanket ban on gay adult leaders
Updated: 2015-07-28 12:03
However, no adult applying for a job as a paid employee or as a volunteer outside a local unit will be turned away on the basis of sexual orientation, according to the resolution.
The decision follows the landmark ruling in late June by the US Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriages nationwide.
The Boy Scouts lifted its ban on gay youth in 2013. The selection of Gates as president of the organization last year was seen as an opportunity to revisit the policy on adult leaders since he helped end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that barred openly gay people from serving in the US military.
The Boy Scouts of America, whose stated mission is to prepare youth for life and leadership, has 2.5 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and about 960,000 volunteers in local units, according to the organization's website. The number of adult volunteers stood at 981,000 last year, down from just over 1 million in 2013, the group said.
The anticipated end of the Boy Scouts ban has been welcomed by gay rights advocates and criticized by conservatives.
Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout and executive director of Scouts for Equality, has labeled the ban a "towering example of explicit, institutional homophobia."
"While we still have some reservations about individual units discriminating against gay adults, we couldn't be more excited about the future of Scouting," he said on Monday. He called on those who left Scouting because of its previous policies to "rejoin the fold."