A reader rejoices over news that the Boy Scouts of America is now strongly considering “leaving local sponsoring organizations free to decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts”:

Our Scout Executive just made it official in our office, that the Boy Scouts of America will no longer prohibit open and avowed homosexuals from being leaders or receiving their Eagle Scout awards. I have felt left out of the discussion about homosexuality because, for me, coming out meant losing my affiliation with an organization of which I have been an active member for 30 of my 37 years. I don’t have to hide anymore.

Although everyone in my office knows about me and several of my co-workers who are gay as well, we always had to keep it a mystery to the higher officials in the organization. We have had to fight this on two fronts. On the one hand, we had to endure the slanders of many volunteers who felt that the Boy Scouts was a safe environment to deride others for their sexual orientations. On the other hand, we had to continually justify and support to our friends in the gay community, an organization for which we feel so deeply passionate.

I’ve always believed and loved all that the Boy Scouts meant to boys, with the exception of a single repugnant policy. My immediate superior is also gay and it hurt everyday listening to him justify to donors a policy that explicitly stated that the organization he was supporting deemed him to be immoral and unfit to lead youth.

I never wanted to leave the scouts and have never felt that the right thing to do was boycott or encourage others to give up on the organization. I have always believed that the way to beat the ban was to support the good that scouting does while consistently expressing my, and others’, opposition to the policy. We didn’t need lawsuits or threats to change. We just needed to ride the changing attitudes about our community to their fortunate and, as we always believed, inevitable outcome.

When I heard the news there were several people who I wanted to contact. My ex-wife had recently filed a custody suit against me because I continued to take my son to scouting, even though she was a lesbian and was, therefore, banned from being involved as well. Now she, as well as myself, can be involved with or son’s activities. Also on my list was you, as I have always found inspiration and comfort in your perspective and comments on these issues.

Recent Dish on the cultural shift in the Boy Scouts here.