Boy Scouts approve plan to accept openly gay boys

GRAPEVINE, Texas - The Boy Scouts of America's National Council has voted to ease a long-standing ban and allow openly gay boys to be accepted as Scouts.

10News Poll: San Diegans weigh in on issue

Of the local Scout leaders voting at their annual meeting in Texas, more than 60 percent supported the proposal.

10News was the first to tell 18-year-old Chance Kawar the news. Kawar was a Boy Scout for 12 years and got to the highest rank as an Eagle Scout last year, but was asked to leave the Scouts just a few months ago because he is gay.

"This is fantastic news; I think it's undoubtedly a step in the right direction," Kawar told 10News.

Tyler Dylan-Hyde, who works with Scouts for Equality, said he is happy the Boy Scouts made the right decision.

"It's long overdue recognizing that all kids should be treated the same" said Dylan-Hyde.

Under the proposal drafted by the Scouts' governing board, gay adults will remain barred from serving as Scout leaders.

"One big thing we want to continue with is the fight for equality and fight for ending the band against LBG adults" said Dylan-Hyde.

The outcome is unlikely to end a bitter debate over the Scouts' membership policy.

Some conservative churches that sponsor Scout units wanted to continue excluding gay youths, in some cases threatening to defect if the ban were lifted. More liberal Scout leaders -- while supporting the proposal to accept gay youth -- have made clear they want the ban on gay adults lifted as well.

"People recognize that being gay is not something that you have to hide or be ashamed of or that gay people are predators, molesters or anything like that and they deserve to be a part of Scouts," said Dylan-Hyde.