The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is considering lifting their longtime ban on gay scouts and scout leaders.
“Currently, the BSA is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation,” BSA spokesman Deron Smith said in an emailed statement.
Lifting the ban would mean that individual scout groups would be able to decide how to confront the issue.
“This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation, and the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with each organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs,” Smith added, noting that families could choose which scouting unit best served their needs.
Smith stressed that any policy change would not “dictate a position” but rather allow units to decide how to confront the issue on their own.
“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,” he said.
NBC News, which first reported on the potential policy change, notes that the announcement could come as soon as next week, after the organization’s national board meeting.