Hundreds of scouts and their leaders will descend on a vacation resort north of Dallas this week to, among other things, take a vote on this new statement: “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.” The vote, set for Thursday, will steer the course for one of the nation’s largest youth development programs, which currently bans openly gay scouts and scout leaders from joining the decades old organization. A simple majority of some 1400 members of the Boy Scouts’ National Council will carry the day. Activists on both sides have been organizing for months. Gay rights groups like GLAAD and Scouts for Equality launched an intensive ground game, mobilizing eligible voters to support overturning the ban. The Family Research Council (FRC) and its allies like OnMyHonor.net, a group created by Florida lawyer and Eagle Scout John Stemberger, jumped in with a counter attack. The stakes intensified quietly announced on April 19 that the proposed membership change would only permit gay youth, effectively continuing the ban on gay scoutmasters and adult leaders.
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