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TODAY   |  May 24, 2013

Boy Scouts agree to end ban on gay Scouts

One of America’s best-known youth groups boasting 2.6 million members scrapped its 22-year-old ban on gay Boy Scouts on Thursday, but gay adults are still banned from serving as Scout leaders. NBC’s Craig Melvin reports.

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>>> a lot of reaction from the boy scouts ' historic decision to allow openly gay scouts but not openly gay scout leaders. nbc's craig melvin is at the scouts' headquarters in grapevine, texas. craig , good morning to you.

>> reporter: matt good morning to you. members of boy scouts of america 's national council cast that historic vote just outside dallas yesterday, just like you said, some are pointing to lifting of the ban of another example of rapidly changing opinions on homosexuality in the country. others say the scouts did not go far enough. major milestone is one of america's best known youth groups scraps its 22-year ban on admitting gay boy scouts.

>> now i have an opportunity to finish everything i started seven years ago.

>> reporter: more than 60% voted to lift the ban, openly gay adults are still barred. jennifer tyrell's son was ousted as a leader because she's gay.

>> i'm so excited because even though it doesn't affect me, it's what we've been working for.

>> reporter: mott all reaction has been positive.

>> when the boy scouts of america put the interest and activist over and above the safety of our young boys that's something we can no longer trust.

>> reporter: church groups weighed in, many wanting to keep the ban in place, scout leaders decided to put the question to a national vote.

>> it's a very difficult decision for a lot of people but we're moving forward together.

>> reporter: now again, the decision has not ended the debate. some conservative groups including churches are threatening to pull their support for packs and troops. the new rules take effect january 1st of next year.

>> craig melvin, thank you very