Report: Boy Scouts close to lifting ban on gays

Posted Monday, Jan. 28, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The Irving-based Boy Scouts of America is considering an end to its decades-long policy of banning gay scouts or scout leaders, scouting officials and others familiar with the organization's internal discussions told NBC News.

"The new policy, now under discussion, would eliminate the ban from the national organization’s rules, leaving local sponsoring organizations free to decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts," NBC News reports.

The move would represent a reversal of policy. The Boy Scouts upheld the ban on gay members and leaders just seven months ago.

Under the change being considered, the different religious and civic groups that sponsor Scout units would be able to decide for themselves how to address the issue - either maintaining an exclusion of gays or opening up their membership.

The announcement of the possible change came Monday after years of protests over the policy - including petition campaigns that have prompted some corporations to suspend donations to the Boy Scouts.

Under the proposed change, BSA spokesman Deron Smith told The Associated Press, "the Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents."

If approved, the change could be announced as early as next week, after the BSA's national executive board holds a regularly scheduled meeting in Irving.

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