Boy Scouts May End Gay Ban

NBC News reports the Boy Scouts of America may loosen its ban on gay members, choosing to let individual troops set their own policy on the matter:

Individual sponsors and parents “would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families,” Smith said.

The discussion of a potential change in policy is nearing its final stages, according to outside scouting supporters. If approved, the change could be announced as early as next week, after the BSA’s national board holds a regularly scheduled meeting.

Only seven months ago, the Boy Scouts affirmed a policy of banning gay members, after a nearly two-year examination of the issue by a committee of volunteers convened by national leaders of the Boy Scouts of America, known as the BSA.

The ban has been particularly contentious in Philadelphia, where the scouts and City Hall have been locked in a years-long political and legal battle over whether the anti-gay policy rendered the scouts ineligible from using city-owned buildings. The broader Boy Scouts of America organization has been under pressure—even from its own alumni—to get rid of the strict ban on gay members.