BEIJING, Jan. 29 (Xinhuanet) -- The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) said it is considering admitting gay members and leaders, according to media reports.
The organization's national executive board is expected to discuss lifting the ban on gay members at its regularly scheduled board meeting next week in Texas. And the change could be announced after the meeting concludes.
"The policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue," spokesman Deron Smith said in an email Monday.
Any change would still give local scouting groups final say on who can belong and lead, according to the BSA.
The organization, which had more than 2.6 million youth members and more than 1 million adult members at the end of 2012," would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents," Smith said.
The BSA has been under heavy pressure from both gay leaders and financial backers to end its ban, and lifting the ban would mark a dramatic reversal for the 103-year-old organization, which only last summer reaffirmed its policy amid heavy criticism from gay rights groups and some parents of scouts.