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DALLAS — The Boy Scouts of America has formally confirmed former Defense Secretary Robert Gates as its new president.
The group’s national council voted to approve Gates for the volunteer role today at the organization’s annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.
Gates was defense secretary for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He also formerly served as director of the CIA and president of Texas A&M University.
As defense secretary, Gates oversaw the end of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy excluding openly gay soldiers. He joins an organization that remains entangled in debates over its policy to allow openly gay Scouts, but exclude openly gay leaders.
Gay-rights groups and opponents of the policy continue to campaign against the organization.
The Boy Scouts of America’s national headquarters are in Irving, Texas.