Boy Scouts May Lift Ban on Gay Members, Leaders

By Michelle Costanza

Boy Scouts May Lift Ban on Gay Members, Leaders

January 28, 2013 Updated Jan 29, 2013 at 6:41 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Internal talks in the country's largest youth organization could lift a ban described as bigoted that's been in place for more than a decade.

The Boy Scouts of America prohibited the membership of gay scouts and leaders in 2000, following a narrow Supreme Court vote.

The ban was re-affirmed as recently as last summer, but was met with increased pressure and criticism from gay activists and other groups.

Discussions of a new policy would lift the national ban and allow local councils to decide whether to continue with the policy.

Robert Andolina, president of the Baden-Powell Council that serves the Twin Tiers, declined to appear on camera Monday. But he said he agrees with the elimination of the ban.

"Removing the policy would refocus attention to what the organization is about; scouting and community service," he said.

The main mission of the Boy Scouts is to provide young men with leadership and character-building opportunities, and the retraction of the ban would allow families to choose a local unit to fit their own needs and beliefs.

A decision on the national level could be made as soon as next week.