The Boy Scouts of America does not plan to change its policy prohibiting gays from joining its membership, the organization said today in a written statement.
The statement follows reports that the youth group was considering whether to allow local chapters to make their own decisions about admitting gays, beginning in 2013.
A resolution was submitted during the national organization’s annual meeting in April to consider giving local chapters flexibility on the membership policy, and a committee is reviewing it.
“The introduction of a resolution does not indicate the organization is 'reviewing’ a policy or signal a change in direction,” the Boy Scouts of America said in its statement, which noted that the resolution is similar to previous ones. The current resolution was assigned on May 31 to a committee, according to the statement, which will report on it to the charity’s National Executive Board.
The statement also alluded to an online petition asking for reconsideration of the Scouts policy on gays, which drew more than 250,000 signatures and was presented to the nonprofit last month. The charity said it met with a representative of the organization that began the petition, which it does not name in the statement but which previous news reports have identified as Change.org.
“While it was not on the Boy Scouts’ national business-meeting agenda, out of courtesy and respect for differing viewpoints, the BSA accepted the petition during a private meeting,” said the statement. “This meeting to accept the petition was not related in any way to the introduction of the resolution.”