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Boy Scouts delay decision on admitting gays, will prepare resolution for May vote

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 6 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

A Boy Scout wears an Eagle Scot neckerchief during the annual Boy Scouts Parade and Report to State in the House Chambers at the Texas State Capitol, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, in Austin, Texas. (Associated Press) A Boy Scout wears an Eagle Scot neckerchief during the annual Boy Scouts Parade and Report to State in the House Chambers at the Texas State Capitol, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, in Austin, Texas. (Associated Press)

IRVING, Texas — A decision on whether the Boy Scouts of America will keep its policy that excludes gay members and leaders will not be voted on until the organization's annual meeting in May, the national executive board said Wednesday.

Deron Smith, the BSA director of public relations, said the executive board will prepare a resolution to be voted on by the 1,400 voting members of the national council.

"After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America's National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy," Smith said in a statement.

The meeting will take place in May, 2013, in Grapevine, Texas.

BSA announced last week it was considering allowing troops to decide whether to allow gay membership. That news has placed a spotlight on executive board meetings that began Monday in Irving, Texas, where scouting headquarters is located.

BSA spokesman Deron Smith said last week that the board could take a vote Wednesday or decide to discuss the policy, but the organization would issue a statement either way. Otherwise, the board has remained silent, with reporters barred from the hotel where its meetings are taking place.

The full BSA statement read:

"For 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been a part of the fabric of this nation, providing its youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. In the past two weeks, Scouting has received an outpouring of feedback from the American public. It reinforces how deeply people care about Scouting and how passionate they are about the organization.

After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America's National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy.

"To that end, the National Executive Board directed its committees to further engage representatives of Scouting's membership and listen to their perspectives and concerns. This will assist the officers' work on a resolution on membership standards. The approximately 1,400 voting members of the National Council will take action on the resolution at the National Annual Meeting in May 2013.

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