Boy Scout Leaders To Vote On Lifting Gay Ban

The national council of the Boy Scouts of America is deciding whether to change the group's long-standing ban on openly gay boys.

Scouting leaders from around the country are gathered at a resort in Grapevine, Texas, near the youth organization's suburban Dallas headquarters, for their annual national meeting.

The three-day meeting is being closely watched because Scout officials have scheduled a vote Thursday on a resolution that would not allow youth Scouts to be excluded based only on sexual orientation. The ban on gay adult leaders would remain in place.

Conservatives and some religious groups have opposed the plan, which is backed by gay-rights supporters. National groups on both sides have organized protests and campaigns to woo the approximately 1,400 members of the national council who will cast ballots.

On the eve of the vote, BSA President Wayne Perry called for voters to approve the resolution. He wrote an opinion piece for USA Today saying a change is "the right decision for Boy Scouts."

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