A final decision on the Boy Scouts of America’s policy of excluding gays has been pushed to a larger, more representative sample of Scouting: the organization’s national council, with 1,400 voting members.
Earlier this week, the BSA’s national executive board met for three days without reaching a decision on the policy, so the board assigned its committees to draft a resolution that will be considered at a meeting in May, to be held in Grapevine, Texas, outside Dallas.
Since the BSA announced last week that it was considering changing the policy, groups and activists on both sides have filed petitions, held vigils and conducted phone-call campaigns.
The board, believed to have about 70 members, is mainly comprised of business executives and civic leaders. Its membership in 2011 included the CEOs of AT&T and Ernst & Young, the former CEO of Boeing and the former owner of the Houston Astros.
The national council’s 1,400 votes are distributed over 290 local scouting councils that hail from across the country, according to Kay Godfrey, a spokesman for the Great Salt Lake Council, which has 12 votes. It is considered the BSA’s governing body and is responsible for making national awards, organizing jamborees and running many scouting programs.
The council also elects the national executive board, according to the BSA’s national spokesman, Deron Smith.