IRVING— Caught in an ideological crossfire, the Boy Scouts of America is delaying until May a vote on whether to ease its policy of excluding gays as Scouts and adult leaders. Any eventual decision is likely to anger major constituencies and worsen schisms within Scouting.
The delay, which the Scouts attributed to “the complexity of this issue,” was announced Wednesday after closed-door deliberations by the BSA’s national executive board. Under consideration was a proposal to ease the longstanding ban on gays by allowing sponsors of local troops to decide for themselves on gay membership.
As the board met over three days at a hotel near Dallas, it became clear that the proposal would be unacceptable to large numbers of impassioned Scouting families and advocacy groups on both the left and right.