Boy Scouts ends ban on gay adults

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) today voted to end its blanket ban on lesbian, gay, and bisexual adult leaders, effective immediately. The historic move comes after GLAAD and Scouts for Equality mounted a years-long media campaign to bring equality to Scouting.

The new policy, which was "unanimously adopted" by the Boy Scouts National Executive Committee earlier this month and then ratified today by the National Executive Board, states:

No adult applicant for registration as an employee or non-unit-serving volunteer, who otherwise meets the requirements of the Boy Scouts of America, may be denied registration on the basis of sexual orientation. 

However, the new policy would not require religious chartered organizations to "act in ways inconsistent with that organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs."

“Finally, hardworking and devoted gay adult leaders can serve openly and honestly in Scouting without fear of rejection or retribution,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Today's historic vote will strengthen Scouting and sends a message of acceptance that will resonate for years to come, as future Scout leaders are judged by their ability to lead and not their sexual orientation.”

GLAAD first started calls for the Boy Scouts of America to end its ban on gay Scouts and Scout leaders in April 2012 after Jennifer Tyrrell, a mom and den leader from Ohio was removed from her 7-year-old’s Cub Scout pack for being gay. Tyrrell’s petition has attracted more than 350,000 signatures in support of ending the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay Scouts and adult leaders.

More than 2.2 million people have joined petition campaigns since GLAAD and Tyrrell launched her first petition.