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May 22, 2015 6:41 PM

Boy Scouts' leader says ban on gay adults not sustainable

The Associated Press

ATLANTA — The president of the Boy Scouts of America, Robert Gates, says its sponsoring organizations should be allowed to decide whether or not to appoint openly gay adult leaders.

Gates said that would allow churches, which sponsor about 70 percent of Scout units, to maintain leadership standards consistent with their faith.

In a speech Thursday in Atlanta to the Scouts' national annual meeting, Gates said the organization's longstanding ban on participation by openly gay adults is no longer sustainable and should be changed to avert potentially destructive legal battles.

He also expressed concern that an eventual court order might strike down the Boy Scouts' policy of banning atheists.

In 2013, after bitter internal debate, the BSA decided to allow openly gay youth as scouts, but not gay adults as leaders. The change took effect in January 2014.


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