Troops opposed to the inclusion of openly gay scout members continue to abandon the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), as it prepares for its 1 January change of policy.

Back in May 2013, the national council of the BSA voted to lift the ban on openly gay youth members, over 60% of the 1400 strong voting body backed lifting the ban.

The official lifting of the ban takes place on 1 January 2014. The organisation said it needed time to make necessary changes.

Troops opposed to the move began to leave the organisation in favour of becoming independent, or joining other governing bodies.

Number 835, from the Auburn and Pacific area of Washington has just announced that it is the latest to abandon the BSA over the move.

Jim Brass, scoutmaster, said: ”Our hearts are broken over having to walk away.”

He has spent over 50 years in scouting.

“The kids just were completely uncomfortable with having kids in the Scout troop that were actively homosexual,” he continued.

The President of the BSA Wayne Perry, on the day that the vote was made, wrote an editorial piece for USA Today, in which he said allowing gay members into the scouts would be “the right decision.”

In July 2012, after a two year review, the Boy Scouts of America announced it would retain its ban on gay members, volunteers and staff.

The Boy Scouts of America became embroiled in a debate over whether to lift its ban on gay volunteers, members and staff. In February, it delayed the vote until May “due to the complexity of the issue”.

A poll released in February found that a majority of US voters thought the Boy Scouts of America should drop its ban on gay scouts, volunteers and staff.