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Boy Scouts Lift Ban on Gay Youth

GRAPEVINE, TX - MAY 23:  Boy Scout leader John Stemberger, founder of onmyhonor.net, speaks to reporters at the Gaylord Texan Resort May 23, 2013 in Grapevine, Texas. The Boy Scouts of America today ended its policy of prohibitting openly gay youths from participating in Scout activities, while leaving intact its ban on gay adults and leaders. Onmyhonor.net website says it supports "Scouting's timeless values and their opposition to open homosexuality in the Scouts.  (Photo by Stewart House/Getty Images)
Photograph by Getty Images

The Boy Scouts of America has finally voted to lift its ban on young homosexuals who want to become members of the group, according to ABC News, after pressure from over 1.8 million supporters from the Web.

Many see it as an extremely small step in the right direction, seeing as how Scouts over 18 and in leadership positions still will not be welcome if they are gay: Once the members reach that age, they'll once again be kicked out of the Boy Scouts for their sexual preference. One former Scout—42-year-old James Dale—came out over 20 years ago, was kicked out at that point and had taken up his case with the Supreme Court at the time, losing the battle. He still sees the organization as having a long ways to go.

"You can have gay Scouts, [but] you can't have gay Scout leaders or anyone over the age of 18," said Dale. "It's still a damning and destructive message that they're going to send to young people. "They will go from celebrated Eagle Scout when they're 17 years old to basically not being welcome anymore once the clock strikes 12 and they're 18 years old."

The new policy will go into effect January 1st of 2014, instead of immediately.

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