SALT LAKE CITY - Meetings began in Texas Wednesday about the potential for the Boy Scouts of America to lift its ban on gay members.
Organization leaders with the Boy Scouts have been researching the issue extensively. Many study groups have been formed and consulted in the last few months, all so that stakeholders and leaders attending the national annual meeting this week can vote on the controversial issue.
Boy Scouts of America delegates are voting to allow openly gay Boy Scouts for the first time in the conservative organization's history. This vote would not change the ban on openly gay adult Scout leaders or volunteers.
Utah Pride Executive Director Valerie Larabee says that while the amendment is a step in the right direction, it's sending a bad message of stigma to the youth.
"It's not well thought out and I know there is a lot of concern and misconception about adults, particularly gay adults, and I think people don't truly understand the statistics, and their thoughts and feelings are driven by myths and stereotypes," said Larabee.
If this amendment passes, a 16-year-old openly gay Boy Scout could earn his Eagle badge and return three years later to volunteer and be rejected because of his sexual orientation.
Voting will take place Thursday in Grapevine, Texas.