Boy Scout Board to Vote on Elimination of Gay Ban

The national board of the Boy Scouts of America gathered yesterday for a three-day meeting in Dallas and it has been confirmed that consideration of the ban on gay scouts is on the board's agenda. No confirmation on when it will actually take place.

ScoutsThe NYT reports that there is tension in the air at the location:

At the site of the meeting, a hotel near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, reporters were directed to a parking lot that had been cordoned off specifically for them, then barred entry into the hotel.

People on both sides of the issue said that the question of how religious groups regard the proposed policy change is crucial because of the large role that faith-based organizations play in scouting. The Scouts organization says that more than 69.4 percent of all Scout units are chartered to faith-based organizations, and more than 39 percent of scouts are involved in scouting groups affiliated with the largest three religious backers — the Mormon Church, the United Methodist Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

And while some churches have said in the past they might withdraw from participation if the gay ban was lifted, others are wading into the debate on the other side. The National Jewish Committee on Scouting, for example, one of the nation’s oldest faith-based scouting sponsors, dating back to the 1920s, with upward of 40,000 volunteers, polled its leaders on Sunday in a teleconference and arrived here with a resolution to push for abandoning the gay ban.

Yesterday, gay former scouts and allies dropped off 1.4 million petitions urging the group to drop the ban.