NEW YORK - Facing diverse and ceaseless protests, the Boy Scouts of America is signaling its readiness to end the nationwide exclusion of gays as scouts or leaders and give the sponsors of local troops the freedom to decide the matter for themselves.
The Scouts' national executive board could approve the measure possibly as soon as next week. The change would be another momentous milestone for America's gay-rights movement, following a surge of support for same-sex marriage and the ending of the ban on gays serving opening in military.
The proposed change was outlined Monday by the Scouts. Under it, the different religious and civic groups that sponsor Scout units would be able to decide for themselves whether to maintain an exclusion of gays or to open up their membership.