The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) on
Friday proposed ending its ban on openly gay scouts.
The proposal from the BSA's executive
committee would keep the current ban on openly gay adult leaders.
The proposal is expected to be
presented to the roughly 1,400 voting members of the Scouts' National
Council when it meets next month.
“If approved, the resolution would
mean that 'no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of
America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone,'”
BSA spokesman Deron Smith said. “The BSA will maintain the current
membership policy for all adults.”
Rick Jacobs, founder and chair of LGBT
rights group CourageCampaign.org, called the proposal a good first
“Despite the efforts of a vocal
minority, from politics to business to culture, we are seeing a rapid
and historic shift towards equality for all,” he said in a
statement. “The Boy Scouts are now beginning to catch up with
this reality. This is yet another step in the right direction
towards ending discrimination against LGBT youth across this country.
Yet, the Boy Scouts need to go further and end all discrimination
within their organization. Discrimination and hatred have no place
in a country founded on the principles of liberty, justice and
A plan to lift the national ban on gay
scouts and leaders and allow local chapters to decide the issue came
under heavy criticism from conservatives in February, prompting the
BSA's National Executive Board to cancel a closed-door vote on the
issue and move the debate to its national meeting, which opens on
Monday, May 20.
Scouts survey asks: Is it OK to discriminate against gays?)