Speaking in Atlanta, at the annual national meeting of the Boy Scouts, Gates earned the group executives that they must deal with the world as it existed and not the way they wished it to be.
Gates said cascading events that included potential employment discrimination lawsuit and the impending decision of the Supreme Court on same sex marriage, together with internal dissent over exclusionary policy had compelled him to come to a conclusion that the current rules are not sustainable.
He said that if the Boy Scouts did not change on their own violation, the courts could force them to do so, and this could happen sooner.
In a nod to religious organization that often sponsored majority of local Scout troops, Gates added that they should be free to set their own guidelines for the leaders.
He said he supports a policy which respects and accepts different beliefs and perspectives help be people, and he feared that alternatives would lead to the end of the movement itself.
He recalled his experiences as defense secretary when he aided the military to end the policy of don’t ask, don’t tell, this policy was similar to the current policy of Boy Scouts towards Scout leaders and the discrimination against lesbians and gay men.
He also recalled that the military’s policy was declared illegal by the federal judge in 2010. Consequent to this a dramatic disruption in the armed forces was prevented because appeals court granted a stay mainly because a change in the law itself was under process.
He said that if we waited for the courts to act, we could be facing a broad ruling that may forbid any form of membership standard like the belief in a duty to god and serving the needs of boys.
The treatment given to men and gay boy has been in a debate.
Conservative religious groups which sponsor many of scouts groups openly oppose gay participation, while in more liberal regions; local leaders have called for ending the discrimination.