Change comes upon the Boy Scouts, and they change right along with it


Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates addresses the Boy Scouts of America’s annual meeting in Nashville in 2014, after being selected as the organization’s new president. Gates said Thursday that the Scouts’ ban on participation by openly gay adults was no longer sustainable. (Mark Zaleski / Associated Press)

Robert M. Gates, now president of the Boy Scouts of America and former secretary of defense, called on Thursday to end the Scouts’ ban on gay adult leaders, warning the group’s executives that:

“we must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be.” 

Speaking at the Boy Scouts’ annual national meeting in Atlanta, Mr. Gates said cascading events — including potential employment discrimination lawsuits and the impending Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, as well as mounting internal dissent over the exclusionary policy — had led him to conclude that the current rules “cannot be sustained.”

If the Boy Scouts do not change on their own, he said, the courts are likely to force them to, and “we must all understand that this will probably happen sooner rather than later.”

From ERIK ECKHOLM of the NYTimes, May 21, 2015

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