US: Boy Scouts of America to vote on whether to allow gay members

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is today to convene a two-day meeting, of 1,400 local leaders, in order to consider allowing gay members into the organisation.

The proposed change would allow individual scouting troops on whether to allow gay members, however would leave in place the ban on gay adult volunteers and staff.

Officials at the meeting will begin opening ballots on Wednesday, to allow the vote to take place on the proposed change.

The final vote is scheduled to take place on Thursday, in Dallas-Fort Worth, Grapevine.

The BSA announced in April that it would propose to members of its National Council at a meeting in Texas later this month of lifting the ban on gay youth scouts, but maintaining a ban on gay adult leaders.

In July 2012, after a two year review, the Boy Scouts of America announced it would retain its ban on gay members, volunteers and staff.

Earlier this month, the Western Los Angeles branch of the BSA voiced its opposition to the discriminatory policy.

The council is backing a resolution which states that no youth or adult should be excluded “as a leader, volunteer or staff member solely based on their sexual orientation or preference.”

The Boy Scouts of America is currently embroiled in a debate over whether to lift its ban on gay volunteers, members and staff. In February, it delayed a vote on whether or not to lift the ban until May “due to the complexity of the issue”.

A poll released in February found that a majority of US voters thought the Boy Scouts of America should drop its ban on gay scouts, volunteers and staff.