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Scouts move closer to accepting gay leaders

The Executive Committee for the Boy Scouts of America unanimously adopted a resolution to end the organization’s across-the-board ban on gay leaders in the organization Friday, and local Scout troops will follow the national policies.

Boy Scouts of America announced the results of the vote Monday.

Russell Etzerhouser, the scout executive for the Greater Niagara Frontier Council, said local troops will “follow the policies of the National Board.”

The council is made up of about 300 Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops and Venturing crews. About 6,500 boys and 2,000 adults participate, Etzerhouser said.

If the resolution is ratified, church-sponsored charters will still be allowed to continue to choose adult leaders whose beliefs are consistent with their own.

About 80 percent of Boy Scout charters are sponsored by a religious institution across the country, Etzerhouser estimated.

Charters sponsored by secular institutions will not be allowed to exclude adult leaders on the basis of sexual orientation, he said.

The resolution is subject to ratification by the organization’s National Executive Board on July 27. There are no representatives from Western New York on the board.