Boy Scouts to consider lifting ban on openly gay youths

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by Chris Patterson

(CNN) -- The Boy Scouts of America would no longer deny membership to youths on the basis of sexual orientation alone, but would maintain its ban on openly gay adult leaders, under a proposal it is considering, the group said Friday.

The organization's executive committee made the proposal, which is expected to be presented to the Boy Scouts' voting members in May.

"If approved, the resolution would mean that 'no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.' The BSA will maintain the current membership policy for all adults," Boy Scouts public relations director Deron Smith said.

The Boys Scouts have been considering a change in their longstanding policy against allowing openly gay members. In February, the Boy Scouts' national executive board postponed a vote on lifting its outright ban on openly homosexual scouts and troop leaders.