CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Local gay youth soon could have the opportunity to join the Boy Scouts of America if the organization's proposal to lift the ban is passed.
A proposal announced Friday would lift the longstanding exclusion of gay Scouts, but a ban on adult leaders would continue.
"[If it passes] it will become a national policy, so we are obligated to follow national policy," said Jeff Purdy, the scout executive for the Buckskin Council, the Boy Scouts organization for this region.
"Our focus is and will continue to be providing local scouts with the best local program possible."
Last month, the Buckskin Council of the Boy Scouts of America had a local meeting to give its leaders, parents of members and donors a chance to discuss the proposed acceptance of openly gay members last month. Fellow councils around the nation had similar meetings.
Purdy said he and the council volunteer leadership took the input from volunteer leaders and crafted a membership impact statement they felt best represented the views of local stakeholders, just as the other 200-plus Boy Scout councils, and submitted it to the national organization.
In the past few months, the organization held meetings across the country to consider how changing membership standards would affect the organization from those associated with the organization. The Boy Scouts also said it considered the change in part because of the surveys sent out in February to about 1 million members of the Scouting community.
In a statement released Friday, the Boy Scouts of America said, "This review created an outpouring of feedback from the Scouting family and the American public, from both those who agree with the current policy and those who support a change ... the proposed resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting."