Boy Scouts of America vote ends gay scout ban
A prohibition on openly gay adult leaders remains in place.
The decision followed weeks of lobbying by gay rights activists and members of conservative organizations, many of them church groups that have traditionally formed the backbone of one of the nation's largest youth organizations.
The vote came about three months after the organization's leadership delayed a decision on changing its membership policy to research attitudes toward admitting gays.
About 70 percent of the group's 100,000 Boy Scout units are chartered by faith-based organizations, according to Boy Scouts membership data. Some 22 percent of the units nationwide are chartered by civic organizations, and 7 percent are chartered by educational groups.
The Boy Scouts' top leadership had endorsed the change and encouraged delegates to support it.
Gay rights activists vowed to continue their campaign until the ban on gay adults is removed, too.
"There is nothing Scout-like about exclusion of other people, and there is nothing Scout-like about putting your own religious beliefs before someone else's," Wahls, founder of Scouts for Equality, told a news conference on Wednesday.
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