(Photo: REUTERS/Darrell Byers)
After months of mulling over the issue, the voting members of the Boy Scouts of America will consider a resolution to lift the ban on gay members, but not gay leadership.
Deron Smith, spokesman for the BSA, told Reuters Friday that the resolution will be voted upon in May at the national youth organization's Board Meeting in Texas.
"No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone," reads the proposed resolution.
"…the Boy Scouts of America will maintain the current membership policy for all adult leaders of the Boy Scouts of America."
Also according to the resolution, the Boy Scouts "does not have an agenda on the matter of sexual orientation, and resolving this complex issue is not the role of the organization, nor may any member use Scouting to promote or advance any social or political position or agenda…"
Back in January, the Boys Scouts of America announced that it would reconsider its national policy banning openly gay members and leaders.
The announcement stirred the ire of many conservative organizations, who believed that the BSA was caving into the pressure from liberal corporate sponsors and pro-gay activists.
In February, The Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee passed a resolution urging the Boy Scouts to keep the national policy on gay membership.
"… [W]e call on and urge the representatives of the approximately 1,400 voting members of the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America courageously to stand strong on their moral convictions and vote to reject the proposed resolution from the national Scouting leaders, retaining the current policy of moral rectitude that has marked the Boy Scouts of America for more than one hundred years," reads the resolution in part.
Many within the BSA have also expressed concern about possible schisms or defections in light of removing the national policy. For example, 39 percent of Scout organizations are overseen by three religious sects that consider homosexuality a sin: The Roman Catholic Church, The United Methodist Church, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.