Boy Scouts To Lift Longtime Ban On Gay Leaders (Sorta)

Now that's what leadership is all about.

The Boy Scouts of America will finally lift its ban on gay leaders this Monday, Reuters reports. 

The organization, which is positioned to help young boys gain physical, mental and leadership skills, has long had a longtime ban of gay leaders (including a Don't Ask Don't Tell-type situation), due in part to conservative partners. Due to the ongoing change in perspective in the U.S., even prompting some boycotts of the group, it will soon allow members in leadership to be openly gay and not receive penalty, as was not the case in the past. 

According to the website, "The Boy Scouts of America believes — and, through over a century of experience, knows — that helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society."

The Boy Scouts National Executive Board will decide to include the rights of LGBT individuals in that definition.

"There are differences of opinion, and we need to be respectful of them," Michael Harrison, a Boy Scouts leader in Orange County, Calif., told the New York Times. "It doesn't mean the Mormons have to pick a gay scoutmaster, but please don't tell the Unitarians they can't."

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Google Create Commons

According to the Boy Scout website, there are more than 2.5 million youth members under 21 years old and about 960,000 volunteers. But those numbers have been on the decline in recent years.

To keep conservative members happy, officials say gay men will be allowed to participate, but each local chapter will have the freedom to decide if those men can hold leadership positions.

Seems like the Scouts have a long way to go before getting their "accepting of all people" badges.

(H/T: Yahoo)

Cover Image: Flickr/Thomas Hawk.