End of Boy Scouts’ ban on gays prompts elation and alarm

Eric Hetland, left, and Chris Zelis, fellow Scouts For Equality - Chicago chapter lead, hold up their applications for assistant scoutmasters before submitting them in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park.

Eric Hetland, left, and Chris Zelis, fellow Scouts For Equality - Chicago chapter lead, hold up their applications for assistant scoutmasters before submitting them in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park. Eric Hetland via AP

Eric Hetland, left, and Chris Zelis, fellow Scouts For Equality - Chicago chapter lead, hold up their applications for assistant scoutmasters before submitting them in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park.Eric Hetland via AP

Eric Hetland, left, and Chris Zelis, fellow Scouts For Equality – Chicago chapter lead, hold up their applications for assistant scoutmasters before submitting them in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The lifting of the Boy Scouts of America‘s ban on gay adult leaders prompted some gay Eagle Scouts to quickly rejoin the movement on Tuesday. But the Mormon church — the nation’s largest sponsor of Scout units — warned that it may split away to form a global scouting organization of its own.

The contrasting reactions followed the BSA national executive board’s 45-12 vote on Monday to lift the nationwide ban while allowing church-sponsored Scout units to continue excluding gay adults.

Across the country, scores of gay Eagle Scouts signed forms with the advocacy group Scouts for Equality, expressing interest in rejoining the Boy Scouts as volunteers.

Among them was Charles Spain, a 56-year-old attorney in Houston who had not worn a Scout uniform since his post-college years as an in-the-closet Scout employee before he entered law school. On Tuesday morning, he registered as an adult leader with the local Scout troop that his 13-year-old son belongs to, then hurried out to buy a uniform and posted a photo of it on his Facebook page.

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