The Boy Scouts of America's longstanding gay ban, which has grown increasingly nonsensical in light of revelations of the group's long history of sweeping sexual abuse cases under the rug, may be coming to an end.
NBC News reports today that the Irving-based youth organization is "actively considering" an end to the ban. The revised policy would allow the decision of whether to admit gay scouts to be made on the local level.
"The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization's mission, principles or religious beliefs," Boy Scouts spokesman Deron Smith told NBC. That way individual sponsors and parents "would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families."
The move, which could be formally announced next week, comes in the wake of public pronouncements by denunciations of the organization's anti-gay stance by high-profile board members, not to mention protests by ousted scouts and troop leaders and their supporters.
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In the group's public statements so far, the Boys Scouts are sure to include a lot of qualifiers. The changes are "under discussion" and may "potentially" end the gay ban. But contrast this with their stance six months ago, when they were refusing to budge an inch, and you see definite signs of progress.