MSNBC is reporting the Boy Scouts of America, one of the nation's largest private youth organizations, is actively considering an end to its decades-long policy of banning gay scouts or scout leaders.
The new policy would eliminate the ban from the national organization's rules, leaving local sponsoring organizations free to decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts.
Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts' national organization said, "The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization's mission, principles or religious beliefs".
The discussion of a potential change in policy is nearing its final stages, according to outside scouting supporters. If approved, the change could be announced as early as next week, after the BSA's national board holds a regularly scheduled meeting.
Meanwhile, in 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that the Boy Scouts had a First Amendment right of free expression when it came to the organization's belief that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with values stated in the scout oath, requiring scouts to be "morally straight."