By CATHERINE COOKSCHILD, Associated Press Boy Scouts of America will change how it handles allegations of sexual harassment by its officers and leaders, a statement from the organization says.

    The policy, announced Wednesday by executive director Bill McQuaid, will prohibit officers from having sex with members of the Scout troop without their consent, but it will not include sexual harassment, the statement said.

    McQuaid’s statement said the policy will go into effect on Sept. 17.

    The announcement comes after the Boy Scout Council voted in July to adopt a new policy that bans officers from sexual harassment.

    Mcquaid’s new policy also will make clear that all members of Scouting’s adult leadership unit will be required to have sexual orientation and gender identity counseling.

    It also will prohibit sexual harassment and bullying in the Scout program.

    The new policy is the first in the organization’s history to be adopted by the council.

    It is also the first time a Scout troop has adopted such a policy.

    It’s one of many steps Boy Scouts have taken to reduce the perception that the organization discriminates against gays and lesbians.

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