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President of the Boy Scouts says longstanding ban on gay adults is no longer sustainable

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NEW YORK — The national president of the Boy Scouts, Robert Gates, says the organization's longstanding ban on participation by openly gay adults is no longer sustainable and is urging change in order to avert potentially destructive legal battles.

In a speech Thursday in Atlanta to the Scouts' national annual meeting, Gates referred to recent moves by Scout councils in New York City and elsewhere to defy the ban.

"The status quo in our movement's membership standards cannot be sustained," said Gates, a former U.S. secretary of defense.

Gates said no change in the policy would be made at the national meeting. But he raised the possibility of revising the policy at some point soon so that local Scout organizations could decide on their own whether to allow gays as leaders.

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