(WTNH) The board of the Boy Scouts of America is expected to vote later today to end its longstanding ban on gay scout leaders. Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, now the organization’s national president, said recently new state laws and court decisions have left the Boy Scouts “in an unsustainable position” regarding the ban.
However, the new policy will not prevent church-led scouting groups from choosing adult leaders whose beliefs are consistent with their own. The issue has been nearing this point for several reasons: legal challenges to the ban on gay adults out of New York and Colorado, and corporate sponsors including Lockheed Martin and Intel dropping funding to protest what they called discriminatory policies.
Boy Scout membership has declined over the past decade, but at a faster rate since the 2013 decision to allow gay youth.