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Sun February 3, 2013
Boy Scouts Still Deciding Whether To Vote On Lifting Gay Ban
An announcement by the Boy Scouts of America last Monday has raised expectations that the organization's board will vote to eliminate its ban on gay scouts and volunteers during a quarterly meeting in Irving this week.
But a spokesman for the Scouts told KERA Sunday night there's no guarantee the issue will be included on Wednesday's voting agenda."No decision has been made on whether there will be a vote," Smith said.
Scouts' spokesman Deron Smith said the organization has received a lot of varied feedback since announcing it might remove the national restriction on gay membership and allow local, chartered organizations to independently decide whether to allow gay scouts.
The Scouts say they don't proactively inquire about sexual orientation but they haven't allowed openly gay scouts to join since the organization founding in 1910. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Boy Scout's right to reject gay members in 2000.
Smith said the proposed policy change will be discussed by scouting leaders in a series of committee meetings Monday and Tuesday, then board members and Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock will decide whether to add a proposal to end the ban to its Wednesday agenda.
National media and special interest groups are expected to set-up shop near the closed meeting location and await a decision.
A group of gay scouts and leaders say they plan to present group leaders with 1.4 million signatures from people calling for an end to the ban. "
We understand the complex and deep feelings people have about this," said Smith, admitting he's received a lot of emails and phone calls.