Boy Scouting community divided over news that national group may lift ban on gays


News on Monday that the Boy Scouts may lift its ban on openly gay Scouts and Scout leaders immediately divided the country’s massive Scouting community, with some families saying they would yank their sons from troops while others said such a decision could lead them to rejoin.

The issue has weighed heavily for years on the Boy Scouts, one of the country’s largest youth organizations, and just seven months ago it affirmed its policy of banning gay members after studying the issue for two years. But some members and sponsors reacted strongly — including those who said their faith compels them to accept openly gay people — and Monday the group said the national executive board would take up the possibility of lifting the mandatory ban at a regular meeting the first week in February. A vote is likely on Feb. 6.

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