So the Boy Scouts of America voted quite overwhelmingly (61-39% of the 1400 member national council) to allow gay students to be members. Of course, the Boy Scouts still ban participation by gay adults as scout leaders. But that change will come, sooner rather than later. This kind of backing and filling towards a goal is how religious institutions operate.
But this is still quite a big step for what is still a very conservative religious organization (it still bans atheists, for example) and you can be sure that it will have some repercussions as religion-based troops decide what they will do. There are three significant blocs: Mormons, Catholics, and evangelicals.
Interestingly the Mormon church, which has more scouting troops than any other religious denomination in the US, has supported this shift, signaling once again that they are edging away from their formerly hardline anti-gay stance, perhaps as a result of the huge backlash they suffered f\or the vigorous support for passing Proposition 8 in California.
The Catholic hierarchy was taking a hard line before the vote but may try to backtrack somewhat now that the die is cast, since leaving the Boy Scouts would further harm their efforts at youth outreach and make the church seem even more out of step with even its own followers. After all more Catholics (54%) support same-sex marriage than the population at large (47%).
The evangelical Christian groups will continue to take a hard line because opposition to homosexuality, along with abortion, has become part of their brand. The Family Research Council’s leader Tony Perkins says that it is clear that the current governing council of the Boy Scouts “will bend with the winds of popular culture, and the whims of liberal special interest groups” and that “there is little doubt that God will soon be ushered out of scouting” and suggests that they may join groups that break away.
I think the number of defections will be small, not enough to seriously damage the organization. But their departure will make it easier for the next stage of accepting gay people as leaders.