Boy Scouts of America lifts ban on openly gay youth

boy-scouts-of-america-lifts-gay-ban-gi.jpg
The Boy Scouts of America held a historic vote on Thursday (May 23), allowing homosexual youths to join the organization without discrimination. The group's 1400-member national council passed the new resolution with more than 60 percent of the vote at a meeting in the Dallas area.

This new policy allows youth members of the Boy Scouts membership, regardless of open sexual orientation. Previously, the Scouts were allowed and expected to exclude any openly gay members. The resolution does not, however, extend to adults in the group, meaning that Scout leaders still cannot be homosexual.

Not everyone in the organization is happy about the change, of course. While some argued against the resolution on religious grounds, others insisted that allowing homosexuals would hurt membership and funding efforts.

Meanwhile, those who favor the new policy -- which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2014 -- called it "a tremendous victory toward the fight for equality in America," according to Zach Wahls, the founder of Scouts for Equality.

The future of the Scouts after this major change in policy will most likely become clearer in the next couple of years.

Photo/Video credit: Getty Images