Boy Scouts Move Toward Ending Gay Ban

The Boy Scouts of America is moving toward ending their ban on gay membership. The Boy Scouts national board, which is meeting next week, will be deciding whether to lift the long-standing ban.

Most local Boy Scout local governing councils are sponsored by civic and religious groups in the community. If the change in policy is approved, it would be up to sponsoring agencies and local councils to decide whether to allow gay troop leaders and Boy Scouts. The policy would end an organization-wide gay ban.

As reported by USA Today, last year the Boy Scouts readdressed and reaffirmed their ban on gay membership. LGBT advocates have campaigned for over a year, gathering over 1,000,000 signatures in favor of a policy change. Seven months after the reaffirmation Boy Scouts spokesman, Daron Smith, discusses the proposed policy change:

“Scouting has always been in an ongoing dialogue with the Scouting family to determine what is in the best interest of the organization and the young people we serve. The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization’s mission, principles or religious boy scouts beliefs.”

As reported by NBC News, several corporate sponsors have encouraged a change in policy as well. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and James Turley of Ernst & Young are both members of the national board. Both men have expressed that they were interested in working toward ending the Boy Scouts ban on gays.