IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – There were hopes that officials with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) would vote today on changing the policy that excludes gay members and leaders. But late Wednesday morning, the Scouts announced that they are delaying a decision because “more deliberation is needed.”
Leaders with the organization say the policy will not be voted on until the organization’s annual meeting in May. Officials with the Boy Scouts refused to speak on camera and said they would “not be granting interviews.” Instead the Scouts released a statement saying,
“For 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been a part of the fabric of this nation, providing it’s youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. In the past two weeks, Scouting has received an outpouring of feedback from the American public. It reinforces how deeply people care about Scouting and how passionate they are about the organization.
After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy.
To that end, the executive board directed its committees to further engage representatives of Scouting’s membership and listen to their perspectives and concerns. This will assist the officers’ work on a resolution on membership standards. The approximately 1,400 voting members of the national council will take action on the resolution at the national meeting in May 2013.”
According to Deron Smith, the BSA director of public relations, the executive board will prepare a resolution to be voted on by the 1,400 voting members of the national council.
The BSA national executive board has been in closed doors meetings at the DFW Airport Marriott Hotel since Monday. Reporters were barred from the hotel.
Ahead of the meeting the Scouts raised hopes and concerns when they issued a statement saying they were considering eliminating the national gay ban and allowing local troops to decide what members or leaders to accept into the organization.
As word came down about the decision not to vote, there were already about four-dozen people at Scout national headquarters in Irving, many of them Boy Scout leaders and Boy Scouts in full uniform. They were all part of a group gathering for a prescheduled prayer vigil supporting the Scouts current gay policy.
A number of people at headquarters for the “Operation Save Our Scouts” prayer vigil carried signs saying, “Turn to Jesus”, “God is Angry With the Wicked Everyday” and “Save our Boys from Homosexual Acts.”
Activity at BSA headquarters has been brisk all week. On Monday Scouts and leaders delivered petitions with more than 1.4 million signatures in favor of letting gay members be a part of the Scouts. This after President Barack Obama gave an interview with CBS on Sunday saying, “My attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does in every institution and walk of life.”
The BSA national meeting will take place in Grapevine.
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