Boy Scouts of America hopes inclusion of gay scout members will be a non-event like Y2K scare

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A member of the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) national executive board has spoken out about the organisation’s 1 January change of policy to allow gay members, to say the organisation hopes it will be a non-event.

Back in May 2013, the national council of the BSA voted to lift the ban on openly gay youth members, over 60% of the 1400 strong voting body backed lifting the ban.

The official lifting of the ban takes place on 1 January 2014. The organisation said it needed time to make necessary changes.

Brad Haddock, a lawyer and executive national board member, compared the change of policy to the 1 January 2000 Y2K scare.

He said: “My hope is there will be the same effect this Jan. 1 as the Y2K scare. It’s business as usual, nothing happens and we move forward.”

“There hasn’t been a whole lot of fallout. If a church said they wouldn’t work with us, we’d have a church right down the street say, `We’ll take the troop.”

The BSA has retained its ban on gay adult staff and volunteers.

Troop number 835, from the Auburn and Pacific area of Washington this week announced that it is the latest to abandon the BSA over the move.

The President of the BSA Wayne Perry, on the day that the vote was made, wrote an editorial piece for USA Today, in which he said allowing gay members into the scouts would be “the right decision.”

In July 2012, after a two year review, the Boy Scouts of America announced it would retain its ban on gay members, volunteers and staff.

The Boy Scouts of America became embroiled in a debate over whether to lift its ban on gay volunteers, members and staff. In February, it delayed the vote until May “due to the complexity of the issue”.

A poll released in February found that a majority of US voters thought the Boy Scouts of America should drop its ban on gay scouts, volunteers and staff.