The Boy Scouts Have Finally Thrown Out Their Stupid Ban On Gay Scout Leaders

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scoutsThe Boy Scouts of America have surprised us by doing the right thing and joining the 21st century by finally doing away with its utter bullshit misguided ban on gay scout leaders.

According to the Associated Press, the Executive Committee of the Boy Scouts of America voted Friday on the issue of allowing openly gay men to lead scouting troops, and the committee voted unanimously to make the change. The Boy Scouts used to not allow openly gay members at all, but in 2013 they voted to allow openly gay scouts, but still banned openly gay men from serving as scout leaders. But according to a statement issued Monday, the 17-member Boy Scouts’ Executive Committee voted 17 to 0 in favor of doing away with the ban on gay scout leaders. Now the issue will go before the National Executive Board for a vote on July 27.

(Related: The Girl Scouts Deserve A High-Five For Standing With Trans Girls And Sending Back This $100k Donation)

It should be clear, though, that this does not mean that all troops will allow gay scoutmasters. According to the BSA’s statement:

“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 would also respect the right of religious chartered organizations to continue to choose adult leaders whose beliefs are consistent with their own.”

That means that individual troops and chartering organizations are still allowed to discriminate as they see fit. But the new policy clarifies that people applying for jobs with the national organization cannot be barred on the grounds of sexual orientation and specifies that gay leaders who were previously expelled for being gay can apply to be leaders again.

“While this policy change is not perfect — BSA’s religious chartering partners will be allowed to continue to discriminate against gay adults — it is difficult to overstate the importance of today’s announcement,” said Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout with two moms who is head of Scouts for Equality, which has been urging BSA to adopt more inclusive policies for some time.

There are many parents who have said they would not allow their sons to become Boy Scouts because of the organization’s ban on openly gay leaders. Maybe this move will help the Boy Scouts bolster their dwindling membership.

(Photo by Arun Nevader / WireImage / Getty Images)