IRVING, TX, February 6, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Boy Scouts of America has decided to postpone a vote on whether to change its policy on homosexuality until its annual meeting in May.
The BSA board, meeting near Dallas, had been expected to vote on the issue today.
"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," the BSA said in a statement.
About 20 percent of youth members' councils had asked for the delay until May, when 1,400 members can vote at their meeting in Grapevine, Texas.
Bryan Fischer, a host on American Family Radio, called the announcement a “big win for the pro-family movement” on his Facebook page.
But Family Research Center President Tony Perkins said he believes “it is not enough that they postpone a decision.”
“Instead, the BSA board should publicly re-affirm their current standards, as they did just last July,” Perkins said. “We will also continue to communicate with the Scout leadership about the grave consequences that would result if they were to compromise their moral standards in the face of threats from corporate elites and homosexual activists.”
A Boy Scouts spokesman said the scouting board's decision to reconsider its policy banning open homosexuals from the ranks of the organization earned it an “outpouring of feedback,” including 22,800 Facebook comments.
The controversy involved even President Barack Obama, who said in an interview on Sunday that the scouts should reverse their policy.
During the presidential race Mitt Romney, who once served on the Scouts board, said he opposed the current policy, as well.
Texas Governor Rick Perry, who wrote a book on scouting values based on his years as a scout, said “there is no reason” the BSA should change its standards.
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He is joined by another Eagle Scout, John Stemberger, who is now president of the Florida Family Policy Council. Stemberger wrote in USA Today that changing the longstanding policy would “destroy the legitimacy and security of this American institution.”
“The board has caved to blackmail by corporations threatening to pull money and support,” Stemberger wrote. “Top Scouting executives now are paid up to $815,000 a year. Having accepted golden handcuffs, the BSA fears financial hardship if it doesn't capitulate.”
“It's time to boot the pro-Big Gay types like AT&T's Randall Stephenson off the BSA board altogether. Now. Today,” Fischer added.
The Boy Scouts of America won a 5-4 Supreme Court decision in 2000, upholding the right of private organizations to set their own membership criteria.