After hemorrhaging a quarter of its youth membership since the US Supreme Court upheld its ban on gay members in 2000, the Boy Scouts of America believes it has come up with a compromise. On May 23, the 1,400-member national board will vote on a resolution to drop its ban on gay Scouts, but maintain a ban on gay adult leaders. This is not a sustainable solution in a nation that increasingly accepts homosexuality. The BSA’s 70-member National Executive Board attempted to drop the ban for both youth and adults last February but was met by protests from religious conservatives. In response, the BSA decided to put the vote to the top leaders of the nation’s 280 councils as well as conduct a national online survey to see what its members wanted. The survey results were little different than major polling on attitudes toward gays and lesbians. Teen Scouts and their parents under 50 — the present and future of Scouting — reject discrimination against gays. Adult volunteers and officials over 50 favored maintaining the ban on gay adults. The majority of voting members of the BSA are over 50. That caused the BSA to come up with a resolution that amounts to a split decision.
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