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Boy Scouts Delay Making Decision On Gay Ban

The Boy Scouts of America released a statement Wednesday morning announcing that the organization will consider allowing gay scouts into the program -- but they will not reach a decision on that topic until May.
Salt Lake City (ABC 4 News)- The Boy Scouts of America released a statement Wednesday morning announcing that the organization will consider allowing gay scouts into the program -- but they will not reach a decision on that topic until May.

The statement read: "After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy."

"To that end," the statement continued, "The executive board directed its committees to further engage representatives of Scouting’s membership and listen to their perspectives and concerns. This will assist the officers’ work on a resolution on membership standards. The approximately 1,400 voting members of the national council will take action on the resolution at the national meeting in May 2013." (Click here to read full statement)

The Utah National Parks Council of Orem along with 33 other organizations sent the national council a letter urging a delay in voting.

The council which represents churches, cities and other organization claims they were left out of the discussion to allow gays in scouting.

"Some of the larger partners had gotten a quick word that this was going to be held but didn't have a lot of input and we wanted to make sure everyone had input large and small," says John Gailey a spokesman for the Utah council.

In the past, some of those groups went on record saying they don't want gays in scouting. But Gailey says no local decisions have been made.

Civil rights groups have been critical of the boys scouts. and the delay doesn't surprise gay and lesbian groups.

"The saddest part of this is that these kids don't need to be involved in this conversations," says Valerie Larabee of the Utah Price Center. "They need to focus on being great citizens, great leaders and you don't teach great leaders by marginalizing kids that are around them everyday,"

One parent leaving with her son from the Utah Parks Council offices says she doesn't object to gay scouts. But having gay scout leaders is a different issue with her.

"Being a leader who is gay, I think it's kind of hard because I don't know if i would be comfortable enough to allow by son to be just because they would be attracted to the same sex," says Cassandra Heftel. "It makes it kind of hard."

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which has closely followed the youth organization's stance on the issue of homosexual members, praised the decision to wait on making a final decision.

"We believe the BSA has acted wisely in delaying its decision until all voices can be heard on this important moral issue," said church spokesperson Michael Purdy.
The executive board along with members of the boy scouts will meet in late May to vote on the issue.
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