Boys Scouts Delay Decision on Admitting Gays

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

IRVING, Texas (AP) -- The Boy Scouts of America's national executive board has delayed a decision on whether to lift its longstanding ban on gay scouts and leaders.
BSA said Wednesday the organization will take action on the resolution at its national meeting in May.
The organization said last week it was considering a shift of its policy, which has led officials to remove gay leaders and scouts. That announcement pushed years of debate over the policy to an even higher level.
President Barack Obama -- Scouting's honorary president -- spoke in favor of letting gay scouts in. Others opposed a shift. Protesters on both sides rallied at BSA headquarters in Irving, outside Dallas.
Scout leaders across the country will now have to decide how to handle a very delicate issue.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
The Boy Scouts of America's policy excluding gay members and leaders could be up for a vote as soon as Wednesday, when the organization's national executive board meets behind closed doors under intense pressure from several sides.
BSA announced last week it was considering allowing troops to decide whether to allow gay membership. That news has placed a spotlight on executive board meetings that began Monday in Irving, Texas, where scouting headquarters is located.
BSA spokesman Deron Smith said last week that the board could take a vote Wednesday or decide to discuss the policy, but the organization would issue a statement either way. Otherwise, the board has remained silent, with reporters barred from the hotel where its meetings are taking place.
At nearby BSA headquarters, a handful of Scouts and leaders delivered petitions Monday in support of letting gay members join. The conservative group Texas Values, meanwhile, says it has organized a Wednesday morning prayer vigil urging the Scouts to keep their policy the same.
President Barack Obama, an opponent of the policy, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, an Eagle Scout who supports it, both have weighed in.
"My attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does in every institution and walk of life," said Obama, who as U.S. president is the honorary president of BSA, in a Sunday interview with CBS.
Perry, the author of the book "On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For," said in a speech Saturday that "to have popular culture impact 100 years of their standards is inappropriate."
The board faces several choices, none of which is likely to quell controversy. Standing pat would go against the public wishes of two high-profile board members -- Ernst & Young CEO James Turley and AT&T Inc. CEO Randall Stephenson -- who run companies with nondiscrimination policies and have said they would work from within to change the Scouts' policy.
Conservatives have warned of mass defections if Scouting allows gay membership to be determined by troops. Local and regional leaders, as well as the leadership of churches that sponsor troops, would be forced to consider their own policies. And policy opponents who delivered four boxes of signatures to BSA headquarters Monday said they wouldn't be satisfied by only a partial acceptance of gay scouts and leaders.
"We don't want to see Scouting gerrymandered into blue and red districts," said Brad Hankins, campaign director of Scouts for Equality.

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  • by Mom Location: MI on Feb 6, 2013 at 03:10 PM
    Boy Scouts are for BOYS. Our boys should be in a "safe" environment for males of our species. If BS go "gay" then what is to stop "girls" for being a "boy scout." If leaders are allowed to be "gay" will they be attracted to our boys? Will they influence our male children in an unhealthy way? If gay persons wish to have an organization of "gay blades" that is their choice. I feel a person's sexual orentation should be personal. What adults do in the privacy of their own home that is their choice. KEEP BOY SCOUTS FOR THE BOYS!
  • by Name Location: Location on Feb 6, 2013 at 12:53 PM
    So it was OK for the scout leaders to molest young children (as evidenced by the numerous abuse files that were recently released), but it's wrong to admit gays?
  • by David Location: Charlotte on Feb 6, 2013 at 11:39 AM
    What is it about these homosexuals wanting to get their claws into the Boy Scouts, why do they continue to hound the BSA over and over? Why would you put a man that wants to have sex with the same sex with young boys? What is the agenda of homosexuals when it comes to the BSA time and time agin the BSA has said no to this. And homosexuals just don,t give up, a lot of church,s support the BSA are they willing to take a chance of that support being takin away? Just to please a bunch of pepol that want to pervert what the BSA stands for. I don,t care what anyone says the act of having sex with the same is wrong and a sin you can call me hating or intolerant I dont care sin is sin no matter what.
  • by Name Location: Location on Feb 6, 2013 at 11:25 AM
    This is what happens when you remove the founding principles out of a organziation. They end up as being carcass of an organziation. Sort of like our government.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 6, 2013 at 08:46 AM
    So if the BSA vote to maintain straight in May, they'll be forced to vote again probably 3 months later over and over until the gays get their way. Why don't they just make their own and call it "The Gay Scouts of America"? I'd better be careful... I'm voicing an opinion that doesn't support gays... I'll be sent to "Tolerance" class by Obama.
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