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Scouts considering retreat from no-gays policy

January 28, 2013
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photo - FILE - This Wednesday, April 25, 2012 photo shows Jennifer Tyrrell and her son Cruz Burns, 7, during a visit to New York. After a confidential two-year review, the Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 emphatically reaffirmed its policy of excluding gays. Since 2000, the Boy Scouts have been targeted with numerous protest campaigns and run afoul of some local nondiscrimination laws because of the membership policy. One ongoing protest campaign involves Tyrrell, the Ohio mother of the 7-year-old Cub Scout who was ousted as a Scout den mother because she is lesbian. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) Photo by
FILE - This Wednesday, April 25, 2012 photo shows Jennifer Tyrrell and her son Cruz Burns, 7, during a visit to New York. After a confidential two-year review, the Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 emphatically reaffirmed its policy of excluding gays. Since 2000, the Boy Scouts have been targeted with numerous protest campaigns and run afoul of some local nondiscrimination laws because of the membership policy. One ongoing protest campaign involves Tyrrell, the Ohio mother of the 7-year-old Cub Scout who was ousted as a Scout den mother because she is lesbian. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) Photo by  

NEW YORK — The Boys Scouts of America is considering a dramatic change in its controversial policy of excluding gays as leaders and youth members.

Under the change being considered, the different religious and civic groups that sponsor Scout units would be able to decide for themselves how to address the issue — either maintaining an exclusion of gays or opening up their membership.

The announcement of the possible change came Monday after years of protests over the policy — including petition campaigns that have prompted some corporations to suspend donations to the Boy Scouts.

Under the proposed change, said BSA spokesman Deron Smith, "the Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents."

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