The Boy Scouts of America, a more than 100 year old organization that has staunchly defended its policy of excluding gay members and leaders from its ranks despite growing acceptance in the country, will vote on a change in policy as early as next week, NBC Justice Correspondent Pete Williams reported on Andrea Mitchell Reports Monday.
The organization issued a statement Monday saying it is “discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation.”
“This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation, but that the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs. BSA members and parents would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families,” the organization said in a statement.
If approved, the measure could be announced as early as next week, when the board is scheduled to meet.
“Individual chapters have urged the boy scouts to reconsider their position,” Williams said on Andrea Mitchell Reports Monday, pointing to a nationwide change coming from the grassroots level.
Last July, the Boy Scouts of America chose to renew its policy of excluding gays from the organization after an eleven member special committee unanimously endorsed the policy following a confidential two year review. In June 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Boy Scouts of America’s ban of gay troop leaders under the consititutional right to freedom of association.