Sir Robert Baden-Powell is spinning in his grave.
The Boy Scouts of America, one of the countryâ€™s largest and oldest youth organizations, decided on Thursday to break 103 years of tradition by allowing openly gay members into its ranks.
The controversial move was approved by more than 60 percent of the approximate 1,400 votes cast by the BSAâ€™s national council. According to the new resolution, beginning Jan. 1, 2014, â€œno youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.â€
â€œThe resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting,â€ the BSA stated in a press release.
Lifting the organizationâ€™s ban on gay adult volunteer leaders and paid staff was not considered and remains in place.
Pascal Tessier, a gay Scout from Maryland, told Yahoo News that he was ecstatic with the outcome.
â€œProud, happy and on top of the world,â€ he said.
Tessier, 16, had feared that a no vote would mean he would not earn his Eagle award next year.
â€œThe delegates proved me wrong,â€ Tessier said.
Texas Governor Rick Perry told the Texas Tribune, â€œWhile I will always cherish my time as a Scout … I am greatly disappointed with this decision.â€
These kinds of large national organizations commonly have far too many cowards and conformists on their boards. Time for the portion of the Scouting Movement that does not agree to separate from the corrupt national organization.