(Tony Gutierrez/AP)

(Tony Gutierrez/AP)

An estimated 1,400 voting members of the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) National Council just voted 61-38 percent to end the ban on gay youth participating in the program, but kept its outrageous and offensive policy  banning gay leaders and volunteers.

The following is TWO Executive Director Wayne Besen’s statement:

Today’s Boy Scout’s decision was insulting and pandered to ignorance and bigotry at the expense of  gay people and their families. Allowing gay scouts but not adult scout leaders was a compromise – only in the sense that BSA compromised its integrity and decency. Let’s be clear — this was not a step forward, but a step backward, because it reinforced the most vile stereotypes and misconceptions deliberately peddled by anti-gay activists.

Today’s decision was degrading, dehumanizing, and disgraceful. It stigmatized LGBT people and their families and sends the dangerous message that they are inferior and a threat to society.

The new policy continues to tarnish the organization’s image and TWO urges increased pressure on the BSA.

Homosexuality is not a moral issue, but a natural expression of who some people are. However, bigotry is a moral issue – one which places the BSA on the wrong side of history.

TWO does applaud those who fought and victoriously ended the cruel ban on gay scouts. Now is the time to begin the next phase of this fight and bring down the final wall of BSA discrimination.

Truth Wins Out is a nonprofit organization that fights anti-LGBT extremism. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.