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Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:05 PM

NBC News: Boy Scouts Close to Ending Ban on Gay Members, Leaders [View all]

Source: NBC News

Exclusive: Boy Scouts close to ending ban on gay members, leaders

By Pete Williams, Justice Correspondent, NBC News

The Boy Scouts of America, one of the nation’s largest private youth organizations, is actively considering an end to its decades-long policy of banning gay scouts or scout leaders, according to scouting officials and outsiders familiar with internal discussions.

If adopted by the organization’s board of directors, it would represent a profound change on an issue that has been highly controversial -- one that even went to the US Supreme Court. The new policy, now under discussion, would eliminate the ban from the national organization’s rules, leaving local sponsoring organizations free to decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts.

“The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs,” according to Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts’ national organization.

Individual sponsors and parents “would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families,” Smith said.

Read more: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/28/16739587-exclusive-boy-scouts-close-to-ending-ban-on-gay-members-leaders?lite

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