Boy Scouts of America may lift ban on gay scouts: NBC News

Two boy scouts carry water containers at the 15th National Scout Jamboree held at Fort A.P. Hill, VA, in 2001.

NBC News reported Monday that the Boy Scouts of America, or BSA, could lift a nationwide ban on gay scouts and leaders as early as next week.

The BSA national board is “actively considering” lifting the ban and allowing local organizations to “decide for themselves” whether to admit gay members, NBC said, citing officials and outsiders familiar with the talks.

The nationwide ban on gay scouts has been around for decades and was sanctioned by the Supreme Court in 2000. It was reaffirmed last July by the youth organization’s national executive board, which called it “the best policy for the organization.”

But NBC reported there has been pressure from local chapters to overturn the policy.

"We're a grassroots organization. This is a response to what's happening at the local level," an official told NBC.

There have also been calls among the senior ranks of the organization to drop the ban. 

Board members AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, who is expected to become president of the BSA's board in 2014, and Ernst & Young CEO James Turley have publicly supported "diversity and inclusion" within the organization, the Washington Post reported last July. 

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