With its ranks deeply divided, the Boy Scouts of America is asking its local leaders from across the country to decide whether its contentious membership policy should be overhauled so that openly gay boys can participate in Scout units.
The proposal to be put before the roughly 1,400 voting members of the BSA's National Council on Thursday, at a meeting in Texas, would retain a ban on gays serving in adult leadership positions.
Nonetheless, some conservatives within and outside the BSA community oppose the proposal. There have been warnings of mass defections if the ban is even partially lifted.
Gay-rights supporters, including some Scout leaders, have welcomed the proposed change as a positive first step, but want the BSA to lift the ban on gay adults as well.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.