The Boy Scouts of America voted to allow openly-gay scouts into its organization today by a vote of 61 percent.
About 1,400 members of the Boy Scouts of America National Council voted on the proposal, which keeps in place a ban on gay scoutmasters.
"This has been a challenging chapter in our history," said BSA chief executive Wayne Brock, "While people have differing opinions on this policy, kids are better off when they're in scouting."
According to the Associated Press, the new policy allowing gay scouts goes into effect on January 1, 2014.
"We are deeply saddened," said Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's executive committee. "Homosexual behavior is incompatible with the principles enshrined in the scout oath and scout law."
Another critic of the decision was former scout and current Texas Governor Rick Perry (R).
"While I will always cherish my time as a Scout and the life lessons I learned, I am greatly disappointed with this decision," lamented Gov. Perry.
On My Honor, a conservative group that fought against allowing openly-gay scouts, said the Boy Scouts may no longer use the phrase "timeless values" because it has "demonstrated by its actions that the organization’s values are not timeless, and instead they are governed by changing tides of polls, politics and public opinion."
The new rule was seen as a compromise, and the Boy Scouts of America said they would not condone sexual conduct by any scout or reconsider their ban on gay scoutmasters anytime in the near future.
There could be a mass exodus from the Boy Scouts because 70 percent of scouting troops are chartered by religious institutions, such as the Roman Catholic Church and Southern Baptist churches.
Source: Associated Press and OnMyHonor.net