The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has unanimously approved a resolution to end the organisation’s ban on gay adults working as leaders. The group’s national executive board will meet to ratify the resolution on 27 July, the Boy Scouts said in a statement. It is a major step towards ending a policy that has caused deep rifts in the group, which was set up in 1910. In 2013, the BSA ended a ban allowing openly gay boys to become scouts. Earlier this year, former US defence secretary Robert Gates, who is BSA president, told the group’s national meeting that the ban on gay adults needed to end, saying it was no longer sustainable.

The selection of Mr Gates as president in 2014 was seen as an opportunity to revisit the policy since he helped end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that barred openly gay people from serving in the US military. The resolution, which was passed by the BSA’s 17-member executive committee on Friday, will become official policy if it is ratified by the 80-member executive board later this month. MORE