The Boy Scout of America is considering ending its longstanding national membership restrictions based on sexual orientation.
Under the change now being discussed, the different religious and civic groups that sponsor Scout units would be able to decide for themselves how to address the issue — either maintaining an exclusion of gays or opening up their membership.
Monday’s announcement of the possible change comes after years of protests over the policy — including petition campaigns that have prompted some corporations to suspend donations to the Boy Scouts.
Deron Smith, a spokesperson for the Boy Scouts of America, said in a statement that the BSA is discussing potentially removing the national organization’s restriction, allowing membership and the selection of scout leaders to be determined by local chartered organizations “consistent with each organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs.
“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,” Smith said.
Meet your new Scout Master, Chester. Note blond mustache.