February 1, 2013
Will Boy Scouts Board Members Lift the Ban on Gay Members?
(Updated) Ahead of this month's vote on a plan to lift the gay-member ban, the Boy Scouts of America says a majority of members support the current policy.
Update (May 7): The board members of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) are expected to vote this month on whether or not to lift the organization's ban on gay members. Ahead of the vote, though, the BSA says more than 6 in 10 adult members support the existing policy.
BSA conducted a survey of more than 1 million adult members, of whom 200,000 participated. The results showed that members "support the current policy by a 61 percent to 34 percent margin."
Update (April 19): Reuters reports that the Boy Scouts of America will end its ban on gay members, pending ratification by a board vote in May.
According to the Associated Press, the organization "is proposing to lift the ban for youth members but continue to exclude gays as adult leaders."
ReligionClause offers links to the proposal here.
Update (Feb. 6): The board of the Boy Scouts of America decided to delay its vote until its annual meeting in May, saying that more discussion is needed.
Religious groups currently sponsor nearly three-quarters of Boy Scouts chapters; but a board meeting next week, which is expected to drop a longstanding national ban on gay members in favor of allowing local councils to set sexuality guidelines, may prompt an exodus by conservative churches.
This in turn may swell the ranks of a Southern Baptist alternative to the Scouts.
CT recently noted how the Scouts's British inspiration is making plans to allow atheist members. CT also reported how courts were divided over whether or not the Scouts could ban gay members until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that they could in 2000.