Adam Briskin-Limehouse, the campaign manager for Fairness WV, a civil rights advocacy organization dedicated to fair treatment and civil rights for lesbian, gay and bisexual people, said Boy Scouts are a private organization and the outcome is their choice.
"The Boy Scouts do good work. I think it is unfortunate that they choose to limit it. It's not our place to support or not support, but the reality is, there are gay Scouts," Briskin-Limehouse said.
"It is really, really sad that people are forced into a position of hiding who they are so they can take part in an organization that they love. If that were to change, it'd be great. It'd be great for them as Boy Scouts."
The national Boy Scouts organization is surveying stakeholders in advance of the planned May vote of its national council on whether to end or ease its policy of excluding gay Scouts and leaders, the Associated Press reported earlier this week.
The BSA's national executive board delayed a decision expected in early February until the annual meeting of roughly 1,400 members in May in Grapevine, Texas, because, it said, "the complexity" of the issue necessitated "more deliberate review."
"The BSA is committed to dialogue on the topic of its membership standards policy, within the Scouting family at the local and national levels," BSA spokesman Deron Smith told The Denver Post in an e-mailed response to a request for interview.
BSA committees and leaders are in a "listening phase," Smith said, which includes surveying "a variety of key stakeholders."
The BSA distributes a survey called "The Voice of the Scout" twice a year. It goes out to all leaders, parents and youth over 14 years of age. The BSA used this regularly scheduled survey to add questions about the membership standards policy, but only to those surveys going to adults, Smith said.
The survey asks to what extent the stakeholder supports or opposes the current requirement troops prohibit open homosexuals from being Scouts or adult Scout leaders.
It further asks if certain scenarios are "totally acceptable, somewhat acceptable, neutral, somewhat or totally unacceptable."
The Charleston meeting will be 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Scout Service Center at 2829 Kanawha Blvd. East. If a large turnout is expected, the location will be adjusted. All participants must call 304-340-3663 in advance to make a reservation.