Wow. Only a few months after the national board of the Boy Scouts of America reiterated its discrimination policy against gay and atheist scouts and troop leaders, and less than a week after forcing one local council to change its policy, now it’s being reported that the board could vote as early as next week to allow local troops and councils autonomy on the matter.
As early as next week, the Boy Scouts of America may announce it will allow gay Scouts and troop leaders, a spokesman for the group has told USA TODAY.
If this policy shift is approved by the national board meeting next week, it will be a sharp reversal of the Scouts’ decades-old national policy banning homosexuals.
“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 to USA TODAY.
Unfortunately, this would not end all discrimination in the scouts. Because most scout councils are controlled by churches, a lot of them Mormon, it’s unlikely that most of them would allow gays and atheists to serve openly. But it’s still a major policy shift and quite welcome.