Boy Scouts of America ends ban on LGBTQ individuals in leadership roles

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The Boy Scouts of America ratified a resolution that "will allow chartered organizations to select adult leaders without regard to sexual orientation" Monday.

The resolution passed the group's executive committee in early July. The National Executive Board met and ratified the resolution Monday.

However, the national organization will not force individual chapters to end discrimination in choosing leaders.

Still, LGBTQ Resource Center Free2Be Executive Director James Robinson says, "I think it's extremely significant."

After all, this is a debate with a lot of history.

Robinson notes, "For a number of years, scouts themselves did not feel they could be out."

The Scouts changed their policy on gay members in 2013, but the change for leadership positions still carries a lot of importance.

Robinson elaborates, "It shows that they're joining much of the rest of the country in the progress that we're making. It sends a very clear message to young people who are either in the scouts or want to be in the scouts that may not be heterosexual or may not even know yet what their sexual orientation is, that they are welcome and they are safe there."

After all, many kids count on scouts as a place to belong as they grow up. Robinson adds, "Young people do grow up in the Scouts. They can stay with it for a long time. Through the whole process of discovering who they are as individuals, with their sexual orientation, what their life goals are."

We reached out to the local Boy Scouts representatives to see if we could get numbers on how many chapters would allow gay leadership in our area. So far, we have not heard back for that request.