After lengthy and wrenching debate, local leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have voted to open their ranks to openly gay boys for the first time, but heated reactions from the left and right made clear that the BSA's controversies are far from over.The Scouts' longstanding ban on gay adults remains in force, and many liberal Scout leaders - as well as gay-rights groups - plan to continue pressing for an end to that exclusion even though the BSA's top officials aren't ready for that step.Meanwhile, many conservatives within the Scouts are distraught at the outcome of the vote and some are threatening to defect. A meeting is planned for next month to discuss formation of a new organization for boys.The vote was conducted by secret ballot Thursday during the National Council's annual meeting at conference center not far from Boy Scout headquarters in suburban Dallas. Of the roughly 1,400 voting members of the council who cast ballots, 61 percent supported the proposal drafted by the governing Executive Committee. The policy change takes effect Jan. 1."We are deeply saddened," said Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's executive committee. "Homosexual behavior is incompatible with the principles enshrined in the Scout oath and Scout law."The Assemblies of God said the policy change "will lead to a mass exodus from the Boy Scout program." It also warned that the change would make the BSA vulnerable to lawsuits seeking to end the ban on gay adults.Pascal Tessier, an openly gay 16-year-old Boy Scout from Maryland, had mixed emotions after the vote. "I was thinking that today could be my last day as a Boy Scout," he said. "Obviously, for gay Scouts like me, this vote is life-changing."Tessier is on track to receive his Eagle Scout award - he only needs to complete his final project - but said he is troubled that on his 18th birthday he could transform from someone holding Scouting's highest rank to someone unfit to be a part of the organization. "That one couple hours (between 17 and 18) will make me not a good person," he said.While the Southern Baptists were clearly upset by the vote to accept openly gay youth, the Utah-based Mormon church - which has more Scouting troops than any other religious denomination - reacted positively. "We trust that BSA will implement and administer the approved policy in an appropriate and effective manner," an LDS statement said. Utah's largest Boy Scout councils supported the change.