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January 29, 2013

Boy Scouts Signals Shift on Policy Excluding Gays

Boy Scouts of America leaders meeting in Texas next week will consider ending the youth group's ban on gay membership, according to NBC News and the Los Angeles Times.

A proposal to go before the organization's board would drop the national prohibition in favor of allowing local Scouts groups to set their own policies on allowing gay and lesbians to join and lead troops. Deron Smith, a spokesman for the national body, said the possible shift is the result of "a long-standing dialogue within the Scouting family."

An unnamed Scouts official told NBC that the amendment "is a response to what's happening at the local level," with many chapters urging a change in a policy the national group reaffirmed as recently as July. The Scouts has also come under pressure from sponsors, with some major corporate sponsors pulling their support over the gay ban.