A proposal that would allow local Boy Scout troops to decide whether to accept gay Scouts and leaders could mean that Scouting will one day reflect the pockets of acceptance and bulwarks of resistance to gay rights seen nationwide.
Just as there are states that ban gay marriage and states that legalize it, there would be Scout troops with openly gay members and troops without.
Some churches and other faith-based organizations, which sponsor 70 percent of Scout troops, would have a choice for the first time about whether to allow or bar gays based on the tenets of their faith. Instead of a one-size-fits-all national policy, there would be a custom-tailored approach at the local level.
Gay-accepting denominations, including the United Church of Christ, contend that the national policy violates their religious beliefs.