The Boy Scouts of America's national executive board, which is meeting today (Feb. 6) in Texas, has delayed a decision on whether to lift its longstanding ban on gay scouts and leaders.
The BSA will take action on the resolution at its national meeting in May.
In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the BSA said, "For 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been a part of the fabric of this nation, providing it’s youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. In the past two weeks, Scouting has received an outpouring of feedback from the American public. It reinforces how deeply people care about Scouting and how passionate they are about the organization.
"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 National 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 Annual Meeting in May 2013."
The organization said last week it was considering a shift of its policy, which has led officials to remove gay leaders and scouts. That announcement pushed years of debate over the policy to an even higher level.
President Barack Obama – Scouting's honorary president – spoke in favor of letting gay scouts in. Others opposed a shift.
Protesters on both sides rallied at BSA headquarters in Irving, outside Dallas.
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights group, wants the Scouts to lift the ban but not allow individual councils or troops to set membership policies.