Boy Scouts Welcome Openly Gay Members

January 1, 2014 Updated Jan 1, 2014 at 8:22 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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January 1, 2014 Updated Jan 1, 2014 at 8:22 AM EDT

Buffalo (WKBW):

Boy scout troops start the new year off with a major change. The Boy Scouts of America now welcome openly gay members to join the organization. BSA membership approved the new policy back in May. While the decision sparked a lot of controversy around the time of the decision, it passed with nearly 60-percent of the vote. Scouting Executive CEO Russell Etzenhouser said he's heard a pleasant response from the scouting community. 

"Generally we got good support for the change in that standard," said Etzenhouser. "I think most of the people involved in scouting we're supportive and glad to see that change move forward."

Etzenhouser stressed that this change will not tamper with the goals of the group.

"Our mission is to help young people be the best individuals that they can be so they can be good participants and citizens in our community, which is exactly what we need."

However, the scouts will continue to ban gay adults from joining the organization.