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Boy Scouts May End Ban on Gay Youths, Leaders

Monday, 28 Jan 2013 03:01 PM

By Todd Beamon

The Boy Scouts of America is expected to lift its longstanding ban on gay Scouts and troop leaders.

The reversal of the decades-old policy is expected to be approved by the organization’s national board next week, both USA Today and NBC News reports.

“The policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue," Deron Smith, a Boy Scouts spokesman, told USA Today.

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After a two-year examination of the issue, the Boy Scouts affirmed its ban on gays just seven months ago. The volunteer review committee was convened by national leaders of the Boy Scouts of America.

But several local chapters and some members of the national board, including corporate CEO Randall Stephenson of AT&T and James Turley of the Ernst & Young accounting firm, called for a reconsideration, USA Today reports.

Under the proposed change, decisions on membership and leadership would be decided by the organization’s 290 local governing councils and 116,000 sponsoring religious and civic groups.

“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,” Smith told USA Today.

“The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members or parents,” he said. “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 beliefs.”


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