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After an extensive discussion within the organization, the Boy Scouts of America’s approximately 1,400 volunteer voting members chose today to adopt the membership policy resolution and remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone.

The final vote breakdown was 61.44 percent for the proposal, and 38.56 percent against. The change takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.

“Voyageurs Area Council supported the passage of a behavior-based, neutral National BSA standard for young people. This direction is in alignment with our council's long-standing practices,” said David A. Nolle, Scout Executive/CEO of the Voyageurs Area Council, which serves over 4000 young people through 1500 volunteers in 140 community partner organizations in Northeastern Minnesota, Northern Wisconsin and a portion of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Throughout and beyond the debate over BSA policy, the organization continues to stay focused on what is most important – the young people themselves. Everything BSA does revolves around keeping young people safe and preparing them to be leaders and individuals of strong character by helping them discover the principles of Scouting.

The vote reinforced that all members must display the highest levels of good conduct, that any sexual conduct within Scouting is unacceptable and that resolving issues of sexual orientation in our society is outside the scope of Scouting’s mission. This is in keeping with Scouting’s history. For more than a century, Scouting has brought together individuals and organizations with varied backgrounds and beliefs to help young people grow into adulthood.

The mission of Voyageurs Area Council is to serve more children, better, in alignment with their parents’ values.  Voyageurs Area Council simply expects appropriate behavior from all who choose to affiliate with its program. Parents freely choose the units that they believe will provide the best experience for their children.

Voyageurs Area Council serves over 15% of all boys and young men and young women ages 6 – 21 through a diverse and talented pool of adult volunteers who are committed to Scouting’s high standards. The organization’s vision of having a positive influence in the lives of 100% of the young people within its communities remains a driving force for its decision making.

Today’s national voting results were tabulated and certified by TrueBallot, an independent, third-party voting firm.