The Boy Scouts of America, a group thrown into a controversial conversation about gay rights over this past year, is considering lifting its ban on gay youth members.
The group announced Friday that it will submit a proposal to lift the ban on gay youth members to its National Council. The National Council is made up of 1,400 voting members who will have the power to decide the outcome of the proposal. The council is set to meet in Texas on May 20.
BSA has been under fire lately by gay rights groups after publicly denouncing and banning all gay leaders. The private organization has strong ties to churches and conservative groups, who would largely like to see the ban upheld.
In an effort to lessen the criticism, the Boy Scouts have also considered the option of allowing local groups to decide whether to lift the ban on gay leaders.
The proposal to allow gay youth members has come about after the organization tallied surveys sent out to members this year, indicating they’d like to see a more lax policy on gay boy scouts.
"If approved, the resolution would mean that ‘no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.' The BSA will maintain the current membership policy for all adults," Boy Scouts public relations director Deron Smith said.