The Boy Scouts of America organisation has voted to welcome openly gay scouts, ending a divisive ban.But a ban on openly gay adult scout leaders will remain in place.
More than 60% of the national council, with 1,400 voting members, supported the change at a meeting in Texas.
The campaign over the ban pitted conservatives, especially religious groups that sponsor local scouting chapters, against liberals opposed to what they deem outdated discrimination.
The change is effective on 1 January.
The resolution repealing the ban "reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting," the Boy Scouts of America said in a statement.
"While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting."
The issue was put to the organisation's national board in February, but a decision was delayed until the larger council could decide.
BBC News - Boy Scouts of America votes to ease ban on gay members
Good for the Scouts.
And I eagerly await the freakishly hateful statements that will inevitably come from people like the Family Research Council.