Boy Scouts’ Membership Drops After Year Of Policy Change

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The Boy Scouts of America says its membership fell by 6 percent in 2013, a year in which the organization made the controversial decision to accept openly gay youth.

BSA spokesman Deron Smith said Wednesday that it was “impossible to point to any single factor” for the drop, which is slightly higher than in some previous years over the last decade.

Scouting leadership voted in May to open its doors to openly gay youth while continuing to exclude openly gay adult volunteers. The change was supported by BSA’s top leadership and lauded by gay-rights groups, but angered social conservatives and some church-based scout troops.

One group of former members even took the initiative to create their own organization, called Life Trail USA. The organization is nearly identical to the Boy Scouts, except for its stance on gay members. As of Jan. 1, around 750 DFW area boys had registered for the newly formed organization.

BSA still has nearly 2.5 million youth members and almost 1 million adults.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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