US Boy Scouts president: Banning gay adults isn’t sustainable

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The national president of the US organisation the Boy Scouts of American (BSA) has said its ongoing ban on gay adults “cannot be sustained”.

From 1 January 2014 after a lengthy process, the BSA changed its policy to allow openly gay youth members, but maintained a ban on “open or avowed” gay adult staff or volunteers.

In a speech on Thursday to the Scouts’ annual meeting in Atlanta, national president Robert Gates suggested allowing out gay adults as staff or volunteers could avoid potentially damaging legal battles.

The former US Secretary of Defence said: “The status quo in our movement’s membership standards cannot be sustained.”

Despite saying no proposal to change the policy would be made at the national meeting, Gates suggested it could be changed down the line.

He went on to suggest that individual Scout troops might be able to decide on their own about gay adults as Scouting leaders.