If the Boy Scouts revoke a longstanding national policy barring gays from membership or leadership, it is not likely to have a major effect in Arizona because the majority of local units are backed by church groups opposing gay rights, leaders said Tuesday.
The organization, with about 2.7 million youth members and 1 million adult leaders, announced Monday that it was reconsidering its policy after years of protests that have led to declining support.
A new policy would leave membership decisions in the hands of the organizations that sponsor Cub and Boy Scout troops and other more advanced forms of Scouting.
“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,” said Scouting spokesman Deron Smith. “The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs.”