File photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images.
The Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday announced that it will uphold its existing ban that excludes gays, something the group said was "absolutely the best policy" for the group.
The Associated Press reports the decision comes after a confidential two-year review and rules out any changes despite the growing chorus of critics who had pressed to end the ban. The 11-member special committee's decision was unanimous, and will effectively stop action on a resolution recently submitted to the board asking the organization to reconsider the rule. The policy was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2000.
Here's the organization's policy on LGBT participation in the Scouts: "While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA."
In a June statement, they added, "Scouting believes same-sex attraction should be introduced and discussed outside of its program with parents, caregivers, or spiritual advisers, at the appropriate time and in the right setting."
At least two members of the board have previously suggested that they'd work towards ending the policy: Ernst & Young CEO James Turley and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. A statement from the board on Tuesday alluded to the apparent internal tension over the decision: "While not all Board members may personally agree with this policy, and may choose a different direction for their own organizations, BSA leadership agrees this is the best policy for the organization and supports it for the BSA.”
Protests of the policy have focused on Jennifer Tyrrell, an Ohio mother who lost her role as Scout den mother because she's a lesbian. And on Sunday, a 19-year-old Eagle Scout who'd been working as a camp counselor with the organization lost his job after coming out to the camp director.