On a news day dominated by the manhunt for Boston bombing suspect, Reuters reports the Boy Scouts of America have announced an imminent end to the ban on gay members in the organization. The Scouts will submit the proposal to their 1,400 National Council voting members at the annual meeting in Texas on May 20, so the Boy Scouts' decision in May will have major ramifications for their already battered media image.
However, the organization has been under immense pressure to lift the ban from the media and prominent donors like UPS that threatened to pull funding.
Once the vote is approved, "no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone," Deron Smith, the organization's spokesman told Reuters. This proposal to lift the ban on gay youth members is the result of a listening tour by the Boy Scouts that started earlier in January. The organization at that time had decided not to lift the national ban, but was considering giving local units the ability to choose to admit gay members and gay adult leaders or continue to exclude them.
"While perspectives and opinions vary significantly, parents, adults in the Scouting community and teens alike tend to agree that youth should not be denied the benefits of Scouting," the statement read explaining today's decision. Given the moment that has built up recently by parents and prominent donors alike.