A spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America told USA Today that if the organization's national board meeting overturns next week its long-held policy of banning homosexuals, the Scouts could start welcoming gay members.
"The policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue," BSA spokesman Deron Smith said.
The change would be a 180-degree reversal for an organization that, just seven months ago, reaffirmed its infamous ban (the BSA reportedly reconsidered their decision after local chapters petitioned them to do so).
However, if approved, the new measure would leave the BSA' s 290 local governing councils and 116,000 sponsoring religious and civic groups decide on admissions.
"Scouting has always been in an ongoing dialogue with the Scouting family to determine what is in the best interest of the organization and the young people we serve," Smith concluded, adding, "the Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members or parents. 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."
Meanwhile, Eagle Scout and founder of Scouts for Equality Zach Wahls said, "this would be an incredible step forward in the right direction."