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The Boston Globe

Nation

Boy Scouts agree to welcome gay youth

CEO calls move ‘compassionate, caring, and kind’

GRAPEVINE, Texas — In a landmark step its chief executive called ‘‘compassionate, caring, and kind,’’ the Boy Scouts of America on Thursday ended its longstanding policy of forbidding openly gay youths to participate in its activities.

The decision, which followed years of resistance and wrenching internal debate, was widely seen as a milestone for the Boy Scouts, a symbol of traditional America. More than 1,400 volunteer leaders from across the country voted, with more than 60 percent approving a measure that said no youth may be denied membership ‘‘on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.’’

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