Seattle Times: Scouts’ Vote on Gays Met with Celebration, Sadness
From our news partners at The Seattle Times: Liberal Scout leaders — while supporting the proposal to accept gay youngsters — have made clear they also want the ban on gay adults lifted.
The Boy Scouts of America threw open its ranks Thursday to gay Scouts but not gay Scout leaders, a contested compromise that some warned could fracture the organization and lead to mass defections of members and donors.
Of the roughly 1,400 voting members of the Boy Scouts' National Council who cast ballots, 61 percent supported the proposal drafted by the governing Executive Committee. The policy change takes effect Jan. 1.
"While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting," the group said after announcing the results at the council's annual meeting in Grapevine, Texas, a Dallas suburb.
Former Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna, an Eagle Scout and longtime leader in local scouting groups, was in Texas for the vote and backed the new policy, along with other local leaders.
"It's such an important program for youth leadership that every youth should have access to it and every parent," said McKenna, executive vice president of the Chief Seattle Council. "All of us who supported it are very happy it passed."
Thursday's vote will not end the bitter debate over the membership policy.
Liberal Scout leaders — while supporting the proposal to accept gay youngsters — have made clear they also want the ban on gay adults lifted.