The Boy Scouts of America has voted to end its ban on gay troop leaders.
Last month Executive Director of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), Robert Gates, pleaded to the Executive Committee to end the ban. They adopted his resolution and moved forward with presenting the proposal to the National Committee for voting.
The vote ended in a 45-12 victory today.
In a statement, the BSA said the ban is effective immediately, and removes the restriction of allowing gay leaders and employees to participate in the organization.
However, individual troops who wish to restrict gay leaders from working with them may still do so, but BSA no longer makes that a formal guideline.
Here is the statement released by the BSA on their decision:
"Chartered organizations will continue to select their adult leaders, and religious chartered organizations may continue to use religious beliefs as criteria for selecting adult leaders, including matters of sexuality. This change allows Scouting's members and parents to select local units, chartered to organizations with similar beliefs, that best meet the needs of their families. This change also respects the right of religious chartered organizations to choose adult volunteer leaders whose beliefs are consistent with their own.
"Moving forward, we will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth, helping them grow into good, strong citizens. By focusing on the goals that unite us, we are able to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve."