Boy Scouts Propose Lift of Ban on Gay Youths but Not on Leaders

Members will vote on a proposal in May.

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Oliver Tessier holds a sign as he protests for equality within the Boy Scouts of America. (Matt McClain/the Washington Post)

The Boy Scouts of America will submit a proposal to its members to lift the ban on gay youth members, but the organization will continue to exclude gay people as leaders, the Associated Press reports. The week of May 20, 1,400 voting members of its National Council will have a chance to weigh in on the change at a meeting in Texas.

Gay-right groups have demanded a complete lifting of the ban, while some churches and conservative groups want it maintained in its entirety, raising the likelihood that the new proposal will draw continued criticism from both sides.

Indeed, the BSA, in making its announcement, estimated that easing the ban on gay adults could cause widespread defections that cost the organization 100,000 to 350,000 members.

In January, the BSA said it was considering a plan to give local Scout units the option of admitting gays as both youth members and adult leaders or continuing to exclude them.

On Friday, the BSA said it changed course in part because of surveys sent out starting in February to about 1 million members of the Scouting community.

Read more at ABC News.

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