Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Irving, Texas. (Jason Sickles/Yahoo News)
[Updated at 5:30 p.m. CT]
DALLAS – The Boy Scouts of America, one of the country’s largest and oldest youth organizations, decided Thursday to break 103 years of tradition by allowing openly gay members into its ranks.
The controversial move was approved by more than 60 percent of the approximate 1,400 votes cast by the BSA’s national council. According to the new resolution, beginning Jan. 1, 2014, "no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”
“The resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting,” the BSA stated in a press release.
Lifting the organization’s ban on gay adult volunteer leaders and paid staff was not