By Phil Gast. Greg Botelho and Devon M. Sayers, CNN
(CNN) - Openly gay youths will be allowed to join scouting, a historic decision the Boy Scouts of America says will keep it unclouded by "a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue."
More than 60% of the group's 1,400-member national council voted Thursday at an annual meeting in Grapevine, Texas, for the change, which takes effect Jan. 1.
"No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone," says the resolution.
The BSA, however, will maintain its ban on gay adult leaders.
"The resolution also 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 103-year-old organization said in a statement after the vote.
The BSA said there are no plans for further review of the issue.
By Elizabeth I. Johnson, CNN
(CNN) –At 11, Claressa Shields decided she wanted to box, even with her father’s objections. At 17, she is the youngest female competing in the women’s boxing arena at the 2012 Olympics in London.
“She's a beast. She's physically and athletically the most exciting thing to happen to women's boxing in a long time,” photographer Zackary Canepari said. Along with fellow producers Drea Cooper and Sue Jaye Johnson, Canepari has documented the teenage boxer as she trains, competes and lives the life of a normal teenager.
The team has followed the young athlete, who is from Flint, Michigan, to Canada, China, Las Vegas, Colorado Springs and now to London.
“Following her is like following a rock star,” Canepari said. “My frequent flier miles are stacking up.”
Read the full post on CNN's photo blog
By Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN
New Delhi (CNN) - The Indian actor Rajesh Khanna, who became the first Bollywood superstar, died Wednesday in Mumbai at the age of 69, his family said.
The death of Khanna, who starred in dozens of movies in a career spanning five decades, prompted tributes from fellow actors and the Indian government.
"He was called the first superstar of the Indian cinema and his popularity as a romantic hero in the 1960s and 1970s is a part of our film folklore," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote in a condolence message to Khanna's family.
"Rajesh Khanna taught us how to smile. He added dignity to our concept of romance," the actor Anupam Kher said in a message posted on his Twitter feed. "His songs made us forget our daily struggles of life."
Khanna had been in and out of the hospital during the past few months, but the nature of his illness and cause of death have not been officially disclosed.
Read the full post
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Send Feedback | Subscribe