[QODLink]
Americas

US Boy Scouts vote to end ban on gays

Nearly two-third of delegates vote to allow openly gay youths to join organisation, but ban on adult leaders remains.

Last Modified: 23 May 2013 23:23
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
New resolution allowing openly gay youths to join the Boy Scouts will go into force next year [AFP]

The Boy Scouts of America has said it will allow openly gay youths to join the organisation while maintaining a ban on adult leaders, after a vote at its annual meeting in Texas.

The resolution will go into force on January 1 next year.

Sixty-one percent of the estimated 1,400 delegates to the meeting in Grapevine, Texas voted to end the ban that for decades has barred open homosexuality in the movement.

"The Boy Scouts of America will not sacrifice its mission, or the youth served by the movement, by allowing the organisation to be consumed by a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue," the BSA said in a statement, adding that there were no plans to further review the issue.

"While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting."

The text said "no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone."

The 103-year-old institution, famed for its outdoor training programmes and support of wholesome virtues, has close links to the country's conservative and religious heartland.

The group, which is separate from the Girl Scouts of the USA, counts 2.6 million boys in its membership.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2000 in favour of the Boy Scouts, saying that the prohibition against openly homosexual members was part of its right as a private organisation to free association.

243

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.