The Boy Scouts of America, it appears, don't want to come out and say anything on their much derided anti-gay policy. After a week of speculation, from across America and including the president, that the national organization would give in to increasing pressure and decide at a board meeting this week to allow local chapters to admit gay scouts and scout leaders, the group has pushed off a decision until a national meeting in May. Here's the statement from a Boy Scout spokesperson, according to the AP:
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.
Last week, word leaked that the dissolution of the national Boy Scout organization's decades-long ban could happen as early as this week, and America readied for a board vote as this week's three-day board of directors meeting came to a close on Wednesday. It appears, for now, that the delay is a victory for the Boy Scouts's Great Salt Lake Council, which along with 32 other councils urged the board to postpone its vote. "The stance of the Great Salt Lake Council as of this morning is that we oppose any change to the current membership policy without completely allowing an open forum discussion with councils across the country," a spokesperson for the Great Salt Lake Council said in an interview with a Fox affiliate on Monday.
The vote, four months from now, would still aim to allow local troops and chapters to decide whether to accept gay scouts or leaders, as opposed to a full-scale national ban. If the vote does pass in May, it could be just in time for Gay Pride month — and would come just weeks before the Supreme Court's decision on Prop 8 and DOMA.
Update: Here's the full statement from the Boy Scouts, which you might notice does not include the word "gay" — indeed "this issue" is rather a misplaced modifier....
For 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been a part of the fabric of this nation, providing it’s 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.
Update 2: White House press secretary Jay Carney said the White House had no response to the non-decision and that President Obama opposed discrimination.