Boy Scouts to accept openly gay youth starting New Year’s Day

A SUNDAY, JUNE 30, 2013 FILE PHOTO

Boy Scouts from the Chief Seattle Council carry U.S. flags as they prepare to march in the Gay Pride Parade in downtown Seattle. The Boy Scouts of America, in the most contentious change of membership policy in a 103-year history, will accept openly gay youths in Scout units starting on New Year’s Day 2014.                Elaine Thompson/AP

From Jan. 1, 2014, the Boy Scouts of America will no longer bar gay youth. While some churches have dropped the Scouts because of the new policy, the majority of the organization’s members and sponsors are staying. A new conservative alternative Trail Life USA will also launch in January.

(SOURCE)    The Boy Scouts of America will accept openly gay youths starting on New Year’s Day, a historic change that has prompted the BSA to ponder a host of potential complications — ranging from policies on tentmates and showers to whether Scouts can march in gay pride parades.

Yet despite their be-prepared approach, BSA leaders are rooting for the change to be a non-event, comparable to another New Year’s Day in 2000 when widespread fears of digital-clock chaos to start the new millennium proved unfounded.

“My hope is there will be the same effect this Jan. 1 as the Y2K scare,” said Brad Haddock, a BSA national executive board member who chairs the policy implementation committee. “It’s business as usual, nothing happens and we move forward.”

Some churches are dropping their sponsorship of Scout units because of the new policy and some families are switching to a new conservative alternative called Trail Life USA. But massive defections haven’t materialized and most major sponsors, including the Roman Catholic and Mormon churches, are maintaining ties.

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