GAY PEOPLE : ORGANIZATIONS: NAMED ORGANIZATIONS: BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA : ORANIZATIONS: POLICIES: Boy Scouts of America to End Ban on Openly Gay Leaders

David P. Dillard
 

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GAY PEOPLE :

ORGANIZATIONS: NAMED ORGANIZATIONS: BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA :

ORANIZATIONS: POLICIES:

Boy Scouts of America to End Ban on Openly Gay Leaders

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Boy Scouts of America to End Ban on Openly Gay Leaders

Michelle Boorstein

Washington Post

Posted: Tuesday, July 28, 2015, 1:07 AM

Philly.com

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/ 20150728_Boy_Scouts_of_America_to_end_ban_on_openly_gay_leaders.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/nmfcplb

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WASHINGTON - The Boy Scouts of America, facing litigation, shrinking membership and sweeping acceptance of gay rights, voted on Monday to lift its ban on openly gay troop leaders and employees.

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The national organization will no longer allow discrimination against its paid workers or at BSA-owned facilities. But local troops and councils will be permitted to decide for themselves whether they will allow openly gay volunteer leaders.

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The executive board's vote was taken at the suggestion of the group's president, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who noted that the scouts are facing potential lawsuits by gay adults who were shut out of positions. But church-state legal experts said the decision will likely just shift the controversy and legal battles from the national group to local troops and councils as volunteers barred from participating file suit.

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"It's changing the target [of litigation] because now it will be all about the local, not the national," said Douglas Laycock, a prominent religious-liberty scholar at the University of Virginia. "It changes the dynamic a lot. It makes it more informal, less visible."

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Gay-equality advocates praised the measure as a start.

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"This was a very important and difficult change for such an organization," said Josh Schiller, an attorney representing Yasmin Cassini, a lesbian in Colorado who was hired to run a scout center but then lost the job when she came out. Schiller is working pro bono with other high-profile lawyers to fight the scout ban. "I definitely think it's the beginning of building inclusive programs. . . . It's halfway where we want to be."

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In a statement released Monday night, the Cradle of Liberty Council, the Boy Scouts' local organization, said it "applauds the leadership of the National Council for its steps in making Scouting programs available nationwide for any youth and qualified adult who agrees to the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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