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Boy Scouts to discuss change in policy on gay members

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

The Boy Scouts of America is discussing changing its stance on openly gay members.

That's according to a Boy Scouts spokesperson.

He says the BSA could announce its decision on the matter as early as next week. The organization will hold a regularly scheduled biannual meeting and a decision could be announced after the meeting takes place.

It is possible that a decision to repeal the ban on gay members could be left up to local chapters of the Boy Scouts.

The announcement comes just six months after the organization reaffirmed its policy of banning gay members. The Boy Scouts' leaders reached that decision last July after a nearly two-year evaluation. In April, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation called on the organization to end the ban. 

The Scouts issued this statement on the situation Tuesday:

"For more than 100 years Scouting's focus has been on working together to deliver the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. 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.

"Currently, the BSA is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation. This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation, but that the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization's mission, principles or religious beliefs. BSA members and parents would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families.

"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. 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."

President Barrack Obama, who is the honorary head of the Boy Scouts of America, has publicly supported allowing gay and lesbian members, as has former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

So what do you think about the organization possibly allowing gay and lesbian members?  Sound off on the WNEM Facebook page or email us at wnem@wnem.com

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