NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Big changes could be on the way for the Boy Scouts of America. The organization is considering ending its long-standing ban of gay scouts and scout leaders.
"The policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue," BSA spokesman Deron Smith said in a statement.
Smith went onto say, "The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization's mission, principles or religious beliefs."
The possible change was a hot topic at the weekly meeting for Troop 3 in East Nashville. Troop leaders said they haven't had any formal discussion on the topic.
"It might divide troops and the churches or schools that charter the organization." said Troop 3 Scoutmaster Libor Koudelka. "It will be interesting to see what happens."
"I've always thought was a ridiculous policy," said Emily Thompson, the parent of a Boy Scout, "There are great scout leaders who are gay, and boys who are gay, and it isn't right to make them feel uncomfortable."
In a statement, Hugh Travis, with the Middle Tennessee Council of The Boy Scouts of America said: "As the national organization weighs this important issue, it's important for us at the Council level not to get ahead of ourselves. No decision has been made yet. We believe it would be irresponsible for us to engage in speculation or hypotheticals at this point."
The final decision could come as early as next week, when the organization's national board will meet.