Boy Scouts of America allows openly gay scouts - CBS46 News

Boy Scouts of America allows openly gay scouts

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There were big changes Wednesday in one of the country's oldest organizations for boys.

As of Jan. 1, the Boy Scouts of America allows openly gay members, but the new rule only applies to the scouts and not the leaders. Boys under the age of 18 may join, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Last May, 61 percent of the BSA's National Council voted to lift the ban on forbidding gay members. The resolution said, "No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone."

It's a huge move for the 114-year-old organization.

People CBS Atlanta spoke to in Atlanta praise the decision.

"That's a great thing. I mean you realize the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts, because I was a Girl Scout when I was a kid, it gives you the opportunity to learn all kinds of things. And you shouldn't be judged by your race, your sex or anything," said supporter Cheryl Johnson.

"I really appreciate it because it's, it's nice to be recognized as a person. Even when you don't make a decision to be that way, it's nice to know that people are standing behind us," said former Scout Colin MacDougall.

CBS Atlanta tried reaching someone at the BSA Atlanta Area Council for comment but have not heard back.

A spokesman did put out this statement back when the organization first considered the change, saying, "The Atlanta Area Council will continue to deliver a high-quality scouting program to as many youth in Atlanta as possible."

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