The Beginning of the End of a Homophobic Era? Boy Scouts Mull Ending Gay BanMeredith Carroll
After a decades-long ban in which gay members were prohibited from joining the Boy Scouts of America, it appears as if the organization might be ready to consider letting local organizations decide their own policies and allow the national organization to wash their hands of the issue once and for all, according to Reuters.
“The BSA is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation,” BSA spokesman Deron Smith said in an email to Reuters. “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.”
The Boys Scouts has long been criticized by gay rights groups as well as parents for their exclusion of homosexual boys and leaders. It’s been a highly controversial topic that once went before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The change could be announced as early as next week following a regularly scheduled meeting of the group’s national board, according to NBC News.
In mid-2012, the organization, which is one of the largest private youth groups in the country, upheld a ban on gay members, calling it “the best policy for the organization.”
NBC News is reporting the potential change of heart is due to what a BSA officials calls “a response to what’s happening at the local level.”