RELIGION

Boy Scouts executive committee OKs ending ban on gay leaders; larger board must ratify change

FILE - In this May 23, 2014, file photo, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates addresses the Boy Scouts of America's annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn., after being selected as the organization's new president. The executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America has unanimously approved a resolution that would end the organization's blanket ban on gay adult leaders and let individual scout units set their own policy on the long-divisive issue. The committee action follows an emphatic speech in May by the BSA's president, the former defense secretary declaring that the longstanding ban on participation by openly gay adults was no longer sustainable. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)

FILE - In this May 23, 2014, file photo, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates addresses the Boy Scouts of America's annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn., after being selected as the organization's new president. The executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America has unanimously approved a resolution that would end the organization's blanket ban on gay adult leaders and let individual scout units set their own policy on the long-divisive issue. The committee action follows an emphatic speech in May by the BSA's president, the former defense secretary declaring that the longstanding ban on participation by openly gay adults was no longer sustainable. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)  (The Associated Press)

The executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America has unanimously approved a resolution that would end the organization's blanket ban on gay adult leaders and let individual scout units set their own policy on the long-divisive issue.

In a statement Monday, the BSA said the resolution was approved by the executive committee on Friday, and would become official policy if ratified by the organization's larger National Executive Board at a meeting on July 27.

The committee action follows an emphatic speech in May by the BSA's president, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, declaring that the longstanding ban on participation by openly gay adults was no longer sustainable.

In 2013, after bitter internal debate, the BSA decided to allow openly gay youth as scouts, but not gay adults as leaders.