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“We grieve today, not because we are faced with leaving Scouts, but because the Boy Scouts of America has left us,” Mr. Stemberger said.

Traditional-values groups decried the vote, saying the new policy will soon embroil the BSA in battles over gender identity, transgenderism, faith and morality issues.

“While the Boy Scouts may see a compromise, the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-questioning left is already doubling down and insisting they will get the rest and push for gay Scoutmasters,” said Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition.

Under its current leadership, the BSA has become “another casualty of moral compromise,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

“There is little doubt that God will soon be ushered out of Scouting,” added Mr. Perkins. “Now is the time for new leadership.”