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July 14, 2015

Boy Scouts Takes Step to Drop Ban on Gay Troop Leaders

The Boy Scouts of America's executive committee has approved a resolution to eliminate the organization's ban on openly gay adults in leadership positions, The Washington Post reports.

Activists both for and against the prohibition said the committee's unanimous vote on Friday makes it likely that the group's national board will ratify the change at a meeting July 27.

Scouting officials voted in May 2013 to lift the 105-year-old organization's ban on gay youths but left in place the restriction on homosexuals serving as troop leaders. Boy Scouts President Robert Gates called for an end to that policy at the group's national meeting in May, saying it posed an existential threat to scouting.

In a statement on Friday's vote, the organization attributed the shift to "the rapid changes in society and increasing legal challenges at the federal, state, and local levels" but said it would not mean religious groups that charter Scout troops would be required to accept gay leaders.