The Boy Scouts of America is actively considering an end to its decades-long policy of banning gay scouts or scout leaders, NBC News is reporting.
According to Pete Williams' report, the Irving-based organization is going to remove the ban from their national rules and leave the decision about whether to admit homosexuals to local organizations.
“The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs,” Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts’ national organization, told NBC News.
Last year, after a two-year review of the rule, the Scouts reaffirmed their longstanding policy as it has been a continual target of numerous protest campaigns.
In recent months, some corporate sponsors, including pharmaceutical giant Merck, had pulled funding from the organization due to the exclusionary rule. Even President Barack Obama said he opposed the policy of exluding gays as members and scout leaders last summer.
James Turley, the chairman of Ernst & Young, and Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, vowed in 2012 to work together to change the Boy Scout's policy after a den leader in Ohio was ousted from her position due to her sexual orientation.
If approved during a meeting with the board of a directors, the change could be announced as early as next week, NBC News reported.